Urban Outfitters sued
Urban Outfitters sued. The retailer is at the centre of a row over an open-legged pose which the parents of model Hailey Clauson say they did not approve. Urban Outfitters are being sued for using a picture of a teenage model open-legged pose on one of their t-shirts. The New York Post is reporting that Hailey Clauson, who was 15 years old when the photographs were taken, is suing photographer Jason Lee Parry, Urban Outfitters and two other stores for $28million worth of damages.
The model’s parents (whom the Parry claims were present at the photoshoot) claim they did not give their permission for the photographs to be used on any clothing and that Parry agreed not to release the pictures following a complaint at the time from the model’s agent. The Post also reports that Parry claims the pictures were stolen from him and that they appeared on the t-shirts after being being used on blogposts. Although the t-shirt is not being sold in the UK branch of Urban Outfitters, the Daily Mail refers to allegations that accuse Parry of making “her crotch area the focal point of the image”, adding that it also appears to reveal “what some observers believe to be pubic hair.”
The issue of image ownership in the fashion industry is notoriously difficult to manage, particularly because of the internet. Annie Wilshaw, director of New Faces at Premier model management told us the Guardian she believes that it is up to the model’s agent to make sure that an image doesn’t end up somewhere it shouldn’t. “Premier (who do not represent Clauson) used to work on the basis of trust for test shoots (the industry term for on-spec photos),” says Wilshaw. “The agent then trusts that the photographer will consult the agent before attempting to sell on the images, and won’t do so if the agent doesn’t think they’re suitable because they are keen to develop a relationship with the agency. Two years ago, Premier along with other London model agencies began putting this gentleman’s agreement into writing.”
“It’s impossible to say what happened in the Clauson case, but as agents we try to find out everything we can in advance about a shoot, so that when a model turns up on set there are no surprises.”
The band Vampire Weekend were also on the receiving end of a lawsuit regarding image rights last year. Former model Kirsten Kennis sued the band for using an image of her taken in the 1980s on their 2010 album Contra. Kennis claimed she did not consent for the image to be used. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.