Breaking News: Lara Jade Sues Pornographer

In May, I reported on DeviantArt photographer Lara Jade Coton who had discovered that a self-portrait she had taken when she was 14 was being used on the cover of a pornographic DVD.

Earlier today she, through her attorney Richard Harrison, filed suit today in a Tampa courtroom against TVX Films, its owner, Robert Burge, and two retailers who sold the DVD. The 11 count complaint sites copyright infringement, misappropriation of image, false light and emotional distress among other counts.

The claim does not specify any damages but is seeking both punitive and actual damages. Since the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, they are not seeking statutory damages or attorney fees at this time.

According to the complaint, even after promising to cease use of the image, TVX films continued to use the image on the DVD itself, despite having removed it from the cover, a practice that was ongoing as recently as June.

As of this time, none of the defendants have responded to the suit.

Harrison, in a phone call earlier today, said that he contacted Coton after reading about her plight on a gossip site. After discovering that no other attorney had agreed to help her, he offered to step in and take the case.

This will be a case to follow and one that all rightsholders on the Web will be affected by, I will be bringing you updates as I get them.

Read the Complaint (PDF)

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