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A group of forty-four models has filed a lawsuit against Vogue publisher, Conde Nast, and Moda Operandi for running their images without necessary authority for its promotions. The complaint was filed in the Federal Court of Manhattan by well-known fashion models of the industry who have worked often with big brands like H&M, Zara, Versace, etc.
Next Management, LLC, a mannequin administration firm that represents the forty-four models’ said that the images are known to the public and these being used for ‘trade, advertising, and commercial purposes’ without any written consent of the plaintiffs is a violation.
These images were extracted out of movies, runway reels, and backstage clips. Though taken by Vogue photographers, they lack consent from the plaintiffs. The defendants were legally permitted to use the photos but the copyright step had to be validated by a formal authorization of the models. Their use was for the economic gain of Moda Operandi only. A pop-up icon is shown next to these photographs to shop the look of the aforementioned models. Vogue had the models’ images modified by mutilating and altering them. This was done so as to seek shelter from violations of the New York Civil Rights Law sections 50 and 51.
The harm from the usage of the photos is that the fashion models’ ‘livelihood is based upon their respective image, persona, face and physical attributes, and’ it all depends on these images ‘how such images may serve to promote or advertise the sale of products or services.’ Coming to know of this, the models’ counsel had sent several ‘stop and desist letters’ to Conde Nast and Moda Operandi but no settlement was reached and the images still are up on the website.
The group is now demanding compensatory and exemplary damages along with a lifetime injunction so that the same thing is not repeated by the fashion brands. There are no remarks as of yet from Moda Operandi or Conde Nast.