TheDirty Defeats Publicity Rights Claims–Gauck v. Karamian

1 06 2012

By Eric Goldman

Gauck v. Karamian, 2011 WL 3273123 (W.D.Tenn. July 29, 2011) has an increasingly active litigation docket. This case comes from Lauren Lee Gauck Giovanetti, a TV news reporter for Fox 13 in Memphis, Tennessee. She sued over two user-submitted posts to TheDirty that claimed she “used illicit drugs, was sexually promiscuous, exchanged sexual favors in return for drugs and money, and assaulted an unknown person.” The posts contained photos of her and several nude photos that also claimed to be of her, but she denied that claim. As usual, Nik Richie added his terse and snarky comments to the user posts. He also watermarked the photos and covered up portions of the nude photos.

Gauck sought an injunction based on her publicity rights. The court sidesteps the obvious 47 USC 230 defense, assuming without deciding that the publicity rights claim would fit into 230’s IP exception.

Instead, the court rejects the injunction request on the merits of the publicity rights claim.

More coverage of TheDirty litigation:

* TheDirty Defeats Privacy Invasion Lawsuit–Dyer v. Dirty World
*’s 47 USC 230 Defense Rejected on Motion to Dismiss–Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment


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