Monday, October 1, 2007

Another good reason to get a Model Release...

Andrew Marsinko claims he never signed a release allowing his photo to be used for commercial purposes, as required by Virginia law. Now he's suing for a variety of reasons, including defamation and reckless infliction of emotional distress.

The front of the card features Marsinko holding a goose on one knee, under the words, "Since it's your birthday, you decide - Would you rather get spanked ..." and then, inside: "Or goosed? Happy birthday!"

The Botetourt County farmer claims he didn't even know about the card until he attended an animal auction in Mount Hope, Ohio, where people began teasing him. According to the lawsuit, one person asked him, "When did you give up women to hug a goose?"

"That's not something you want to wake up and find out's been done," said Roanoke lawyer David Harrison, who represents Marsinko.

The portrait was taken at the 1996 State Fair of Virginia by Washington, D.C., photographer John Burwell, who had been hired to take promotional photos for the fair.

The card was sold throughout the United States and Canada last year. During that time, Marsinko - a member of the American Poultry Association's Exhibitor's Hall of Fame - says he was the object of ridicule at auctions and livestock shows across the country.

The complaint accuses Burwell and his wife of selling Marsinko's image to Jupitermedia Corp., a stock image provider, without his permission. The image was used on a card sold by Boulder, Colo., company Leanin' Tree Inc., according to the complaint.

(used without permission)

Information from: The Roanoke Times,