Sunday 22 October 2017

Judge asks for Kate Moss Playboy photos to be brought to court

File photo: Kate Moss
File photo: Kate Moss

Tim Healy

PLAYBOY must provide the photos it took of model Kate Moss to an Irish entertainment website which allegedly breached copyright to the exclusive pictures, the High Court ruled.

In advance of a legal action over the copyright issue, Playboy must also clarify parts of its claim against Entertainment Media Network (EMN) which it says published a link on its "entertainment.ie" site to exclusive pictures of Ms Moss "in various states of undress".

Ms Justice Marie Baker said Playboy must provide the defendants with photographs of Ms Moss used in the the magazine's 60th anniversary edition which are at the centre of the claim.

Playboy Enterprises International Inc, which is part of the magazine empire founded by Hugh Hefner, has sued EMN, which offers entertainment listings on entertainment.ie.

In December 2013, Playboy claims, without its permission, entertainment.ie published  a link to images of  the model, which it exclusively commissioned, a week before the 60th anniversary edition was published.

Playboy claims the defendant caused it significant loss and damage as well as damage to its reputation by publishing the images.

In its action seeking damages, Playboy claims it engaged top fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marus Piggott to shoot exclusive "artistic" images of Ms Moss.

These works featured on the front over of and in an 18 page spread of the magazine's 60th anniversary edition which appeared on December 10, 2013.

The images featured the model in "various provocative poses" and wearing the classic playboy bunny costume. In some of the pictures Ms Moss is either nude or semi nude. 

The court heard previously the link was posted by the defendant after it discovered images of  Ms Moss on the internet.

The link was taken down shortly afterwards. However the fashion publication Harper's Bazaar became aware of the link and used it. The link was taken completely down by December 23, 2013.

Playboy asked the court for an order compelling EMN to file a defence to the magazine's claim, so the action can proceed to a hearing.

If no defence is filed, Playboy argued, the court should grant judgment against the  defendant.

In a pretrial motion, the defendants wanted Playboy to provide certain documentation and furnish them with replies to particulars of the claim. The defendants alleged the particulars were inadequate and lacked precision meaning it could not serve its defence.

Playboy claimed the defendant's motion was a delaying tactic, which the defendants denied.

Ms Justice Baker said the defendants were entitled to further particularisation in relation to the claim of alleged breach of copyright.

She directed that questions raised by the defendants about that aspect of the claim be answered by Playboy.

She also directed certain documents, including the cover photo and 29 addition pictures of Ms Moss from the edition be given to the defendants.

While Playboy objected to furnishing the images at this point, the judge said to withhold these documents at this stage, when they are central to the case, "was not in the interests of the parties," "the proper conduct of litigation" and "cost effective litigation." 

She adjourned the matter for two weeks.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News