In 2008, Anne Read Lattimore (NOT pictured on right) verbally agreed to let photographer Roger Kirby snap her picture for use on his salon’s website. Years later, Lattimore discovered that her photo had been downloaded about 6,900 times from Getty-owned website stock.xchng and used on Match.com (even though she’s never been a site member) and next to a HealthCentral.com article about homosexuality entitled, “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are” (even though she’s a happily married heterosexual). Now she’s suing the photographer, Match.com and HealthCentral.com, and if her facts are straight she’s probably gonna win.
Lattimore alleges that she “did not sign a model release or authorize the use, publication or distribution of the photograph for any purpose other than publication on Joseph’s Salon’s website.” And even though Getty distributed the image, it did so with the disclaimer that “the image ‘may not’ be used ‘[t]o endorse products and services if it depicts a person,'” an agreement which Match.com and HealthCentral.com seemingly broke.
Here’s more from CourthouseNews.com:
“At least one individual known to Mrs. Lattimore viewed the ad [on Match.com] and brought its existence to Mrs. Lattimore’s husband’s attention,” the complaint states… [the image] falsely portrayed Mrs. Lattimore as currently available for dating”… in a context that carries a connotation of infidelity could hurt her personal and professional reputation, according to the complaint…
“Directly next to the image of Mrs. Lattimore [on HealthCentral.com article about homosexuality] was the statement: ‘I’ve come out two thousand, three hundred and forty-five times. Okay, so I haven’t actually counted, but it seems like that many'”… Mrs. Lattimore is not homosexual and has never admitted to anyone that she was homosexual, i.e. she has never ‘come out.’ The placement of her image next to this article leads a viewer to believe that Mrs. Lattimore is homosexual and is telling her personal story about her experience of telling her family and friends about her homosexuality.”
One of the claims in her lawsuit is that the claim that she is a homosexual (when she is in fact happily married) will likely “injure Mrs. Lattimore’s reputation and subject her to contempt and ridicule.” But she has yet to say if any actual contempt and ridicule has resulted from HealthCentral.com’s use of her image or whether she’s just trying to cash in on the possibility of it happening.
On legal grounds alone, Lattimore has every right to sue and to win. But Zack Ford from Think Progress conjectures, “Perhaps when she is done fighting to end the contempt, ridicule, distrust, ostracization, and professional insecurity she’s afraid she’ll face for being perceived as gay, she can then work to fight the actual mistreatment that is part of many LGB people’s daily reality.