Point Out A Potential Photoshopping Of A Demi Moore Picture, And She Has Her Lawyers Send Out The Nastygrams

from the yeah,-that'll-help dept

Sometimes you just shake your head and wonder. It’s truly amazing that people don’t realize what will happen when they send out ridiculous legal nastygrams. Take, for example, the situation from a few months back where the company Ralph Lauren got itself into a lot more hot water by sending a bogus DMCA takedown, rather than just ‘fessing up to the fact that it photoshopped a model’s image (badly). But in sending the DMCA takedown, Ralph Lauren called a hell of a lot more attention to a situation that most people would have forgotten otherwise.

Apparently Demi Moore and her lawyers missed that whole story. Back in November some folks noticed what appeared to be a photoshopping of Demi Moore’s left hip on the cover of W magazine. There was some debate over it, but either way, people moved on and it was forgotten. Not so fast! While there was some discussion about it — and Moore herself chimed in on Twitter to claim that the photo was not altered — she’s now had her lawyers threaten at least two publications over the original story. Their claim is that the posts are defamatory. Even if there was no retouching of the photo, it’s hard to see what is possibly “defamatory” in the story. Digital retouching happens all the time, and claiming that a photo was retouched, if anything, would implicate the photographers or graphic artists at W, not Moore. There’s simply nothing even close to defamatory in regards to Moore herself.

Either way, the really bizarre part is why sic the legal dogs on this? Any lawyer should know that this has zero chance of actually working and a very high likelihood of simply calling a lot more attention to the question of whether or not the image was altered. And, in fact, the guy who apparently first noticed the supposed retouching — and a recipient of the legal nastygram — has responded by presenting some pretty compelling evidence that the image was, in fact, retouched. At the same time, he also reiterates that even if this is true, there’s nothing wrong with that and certainly nothing defamatory about it. So what was the purpose of the legal nastygram?

And, in the end, what makes Demi Moore look worse? The fact that some cover shoot photo of her may have been slightly altered… or the fact that lawyers on her behalf sent out ridiculous legal nastygrams against those discussing this story?

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Comments on “Point Out A Potential Photoshopping Of A Demi Moore Picture, And She Has Her Lawyers Send Out The Nastygrams”

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Andrew F (profile) says:

Defamation Claim

The defamation claim appears to be based on the premise that the author is insinuating that Demi Moore requested the alteration be done herself (and is therefore a vainglorious diva).

Not sure how you resolve insinuations in court.

Also, since Demi Moore is a public figure, the courts might hold this defamation claim to a higher standard — e.g. not only does she have to prove the guy was wrong but she has to prove he knowingly made a false statement or did it with “reckless disregard” for the truth.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Photoshopped?

If it were more of a side view I could agree, but I don’t think so. You can see that the scarf thingy is following the shape of her leg for some distance as you go up, and then if you look from that point to where you see her hip, there’s just no way her leg does that. Or if it does, it’s a serious deformity, and she should have it corrected.

Look at her other leg for contrast – a smooth curve all the way up and out to her hip bone. I know she’s slightly leaning right, but that doesn’t explain it.

Derek (profile) says:

This will never see a courtroom

Exhibit A in this case will be the original full-resolution raw file.

We don’t know who drove this bus over the cliff, maybe it was a publicist or someone else besides Moore, but speaking as a photographer I’m very doubtful she’d want the camera’s unretouched output made public.

Some celebrities even have contractual requirements around how the raw files are handled, to the point that they demand a specific Photoshop artist.

The claim that the image wasn’t altered is the funniest part of this story. “Photoshopping” arguments are often narrowly defined and self-serving — some will claim it means cut-and-pasting body parts, others will claim it means a tiny exposure tweak.

In reality, if this image WASN’T retouched it would have been a news item.

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