Polo Ralph Lauren v. Boing Boing

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Date: 

10/02/2009

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

California, Canada

Disposition: 

Material Removed

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
In October 2009, Ralph Lauren sent a DMCA takedown notice to Boing Boing's webhost, Priority Colo, alleging that Boing Boing's posting of a Ralph Lauren advertisement violated its copyright. The Ralph Lauren advertisement featured a... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Boing Boing; Priority Colo; Photoshop Disasters; Blogger

Type of Party: 

Large Organization

Type of Party: 

Organization
Intermediary

Location of Party: 

  • New York

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Canada
Description

In October 2009, Ralph Lauren sent a DMCA takedown notice to Boing Boing's webhost, Priority Colo, alleging that Boing Boing's posting of a Ralph Lauren advertisement violated its copyright. The Ralph Lauren advertisement featured a photograph of an improbably skinny model that appeared to have been photoshopped, and Xeni Jardin's post on Boing Boing reproduced the advertisement with a critical caption: "Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis." Priority Colo and Boing Boing refused to remove the post, citing fair use.

The advertisement originally came to Jardin's attention via another blog, Photoshop Disasters. Photoshop Disasters published the advertisement with its own critical caption: "Make her head bigger than her pelvis! Do it!" Ralph Lauren also sent a DMCA takedown notice to Blogger, Photoshop Disasters' blog host, which removed the image.  (The original post is still available through Google's cache.)  It is not clear whether Photoshop Disasters submitted a counter-notification and whether the post will be restored.

After a great deal of media attention stemming from the takedown notices, Ralph Lauren acknowledged responsibility for photoshopping the image in a statement saying, "[f]or over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body."

Details

Content Type: 

  • Photo

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Fair Use
  • DMCA
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • California
  • Canada

Source of Law: 

  • United States

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

-mw reviewing 10/12