Hustler Loses Case in Catherine Bosley, Ohio News Anchor Wet t-Shirt Photo Scandal
Aug 17, 2012 02:00 PM EDT
(Photo : Reuters )
On Thursday, Hustler Inc. lost its appeal to Ohio news anchor Catherine Bosley for publishing pictures of her in a wet t-shirt contest without her permission as ruled by the Federal appeals court. A panel of three judges ruled that Hustler was not protected by the First Amendment for publishing the pictures of Bosley.
In 2003, an amateur photographer took pictures of the then 37-year-old while she was participating in a wet t-shirt contest on her vacation to Florida. After the pictures surfaced on the Internet, Bosley was removed from a job as a news anchor for a CBS affiliate news channel. Bosley and her husband entered a deal with the photographer for rights to photos and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2004 for ownership.
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Then in 2006, Hustler magazine published the same photos in its "Hot New Babes" series. Bosley sued the company and won $135,000 for copyright infringement and attorney's fees.
Hustler Inc., not satisfied with the outcome, took the case to a federal appeals court. Hustler along with its parent company Larry Flynt Publications, argued First Amendment defense stating that the "fair use" exception clause in the US Copyright Law granted them permission to publish the photo, as reported by Reuters.
According to section 107 of the Copyright law, the reproduction of any photograph for the purpose of news reporting, comment, criticism, research or education does not require the permission of the copyright owner. This is called the "fair use exception clause," which Hustler argued protected its right to publish.
However, the sixth circuit federal court ruled that Hustler was not a news publication, and the purpose of publishing the pictures was clearly to make money, therefore they are not protected by the exclusion clause and must pay the $135,000 plus amount to Bosley.