A US poultry farmer whose photo appeared on a joke birthday card is to sue Getty amongst others claiming he never signed a model release and his image was used without his permission reports PDN.
The farmer, Andrew E. Marsinko, filed proceedings against several companies involved in the photograph, including Getty Images and Jupitermedia.
The greeting card features an image of Marsinko holding a goose, with the text: “Since it’s your birthday, you decide – Would you rather get spanked… or goosed?”
In the suit, Marsinko claims the card made him the subject of disparaging comments, causing him “ridicule, embarrassment, humiliation” and other distress.
According to reports Marsinko posed for photographer John B. Burwell in a photo to promote the State Fair of Virginia in 1996. The image was then licensed the image to Jupitermedia, which in turn sold or licensed it to Getty Images.
Among the points to be considered if this case proceeds: What is goosing and is it legal in Virginia? The lawsuit defines “goosed” as “understood to mean to poke or prod a person in the anus.” It claims that goosing is a crime under Virginia’s object sexual penetration laws. The suit then makes the case that the greeting card defamed the plaintiff by accusing him of engaging in criminal activity.