Did a Conservative Group Misappropriate A Gay Couple's Photo and Infringe on Their Right of Publicity?

As reported in the Sept. 26th, 2012 New York Times, a New Jersey same-sex couple and their photographer are suing a Virginia-based nonprofit, Public Advocate, accusing that group of infringing copyright and misappropriating the couple’s likeness.

"Mr. Edwards, a college administrator, and Mr. Privitere, a ticket broker, have lived together since 2002 and married in Connecticut in 2010." There engagement photo (top) was taken by a professional photographer in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. They allege that their photo, posted on their blog, was copied without their permission, and then digitally manipulated (Film Business students should be asking: In addition to the right of publicity claim, isn't there an unpermissioned copying and the creation of a derivative work that might also lead to a copyright infringement claim?) and then distributed in a campaign against a Colorado Senator who had supported same-sex unions. That's the bottom image.

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