Thursday, August 24, 2017
 

Woman Sues AP for Taking and Selling Stock Photo of Her


Fifi Youssef looks at her iPhone while seated in a Starbucks on Dec. 16 in New York; she is now suing the photographer and AP over their distribution of the photo. (Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

Fifi Youssef looks at her iPhone while seated in a Starbucks on Dec. 16 in New York; she is now suing the photographer and AP over their distribution of the photo. (Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

Fifi Youssef was sitting in a Starbucks, minding her own business, when photographer Mark Lennihan photographed her. He then offered the photograph (shown above) for sale via the Associated Press’s Web site. The photograph was used to illustrate an opinion column at The Washington Post, titled “As Muslim women, we actually ask you not to wear the hijab in the name of interfaith solidarity.”

Apparently Youssef didn’t like this use of her photograph or the fact that it was being sold by Lennihan and the AP.

Youssef has therefore sued Lennihan and AP, for using her likeness for the purpose of trade, in violation of New York Civil Rights Law § 51, the New York “right of publicity” statute.

Will she triumph in a court of law? Eminent legal scholar Eugene Volokh doesn’t think so, and I think he’s right.

 

 

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