Hustler Loses Appeal Over Publication of News Anchor's Wet T-shirt Photo

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that pornography publisher Hustler Inc didn’t have the right to publish a wet T-shirt contest photo featuring an Ohio TV news anchor.

In Thursday’s decision (PDF), the Cincinnati-based court rejected Hustler’s contention that its use of the image was protected by the First Amendment, Reuters reports.

The underlying case involved publication of a photo of Catherine Bosley, an Ohio news anchor who competed in a wet T-shirt contest while vacationing in Florida in 2003. An amateur photographer photographed her and the images made their way to the Internet, costing Bosley her job. Bosley ultimately negotiated rights to the images with the photographer and registered the copyright in 2004, Reuters notes.

Bosley sued after Hustler published one of the images two years later in its “Hot News Babes” series and won a $135,000 copyright infringement verdict in 2012, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer .

The 6th Circuit rejected Hustler’s appeal and claim that it could publish the images under the “fair use” exception of copyright law.

In examining the purpose and character of the use, the three-judge panel concluded that a jury “could have reasonably concluded that Hustler was selling a picture, not a story.”

Hat Tip: How Appealing

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