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Author Topic: Svenson wins "The Neighbors" case.  (Read 6197 times)
AFairley
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« on: August 05, 2013, 02:34:50 PM »
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The court denied the request for an injunction and granted Svenson's motion to dismiss the case.  Remember that because New York does not recognize a common law claim for invasion of rights of privacy, the lawsuit was predicated on the statute prohibiting unpermitted use of likenesses for commercial purposes, plus intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Plaintiffs also sought an injunction on the ostensible grounds to prevent potential harm to the children.  

The court ruled (as it should have) that use of a likeness in a work of art is not use for "commercial purposes" under the satute and protected First Amendment conduct in any event.  The court did not address the intentional infliction claim.  As to the injunction, since Sevenson had pulled the two photos of the children from the show and sale, and had sworn in his declaration he was not going to take any more pictures of the neighbors, the court denied the injunction.  So, except for having to pay his lawyers a bunch of money, it looks like Svenson is off the hook.  The plaintiffs might appeal, but I believe it would be a losing proposition.  The judge got New York State law right.  

I will say that it's quite likely that Svenson dodged a legal bullet by virtue of living in New York.  In a state that does recognise "invasion of privacy" as a legal claim, the case could well have gone against Svenson in my opinion.

If you're interested in the court's opinion, you can find it here:  http://www.ahfairley.com/misc/Svenson_Opinion.pdf
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 02:40:36 PM by AFairley » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 04:52:02 PM »
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Thanks, Alan. Looks as if the court came through with the right findings. And it looks as if in New York unless they include kids in their shots it's open season for camera-equipped voyeurs. But, after all, why would that be unusual? It's New York.
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popnfresh
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 06:45:18 PM »
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I thought Svenson's photos included some shots of kids.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 03:17:52 PM »
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Only because he lives in NY.  He's still morally bankrupt.  And, with any luck, if his lawyer's fees are high enough, financially too. 
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