A $25 million lawsuit was filed today against right-wing front group USA Next and political consulting firm Mark Montini International for stealing an Oregon couple's wedding photo and using it without permission in a high-profile gay-bashing ad designed to drum up support for social security privatization. . . .
The suit alleges that the use of the couple's image without permission constituted an invasion of privacy, was libelous, violated their right of publicity and constituted an intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In one version of the USA Next ad disseminated widely on the Internet in February, and aired repeatedly by television news programs and newspapers nationwide, the couple's image, superimposed with a green checkmark, is side-by-side a picture of a US soldier with a red "X" across it. Below the photos is the phrase "The REAL AARP Agenda."
Last Friday, the district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss, and I'm pleased to say that the court's reasoning was nearly identical to the reasoning I outlined. I might have been wrong, but at least I was wrong in a way that a judge agreed with, which is usually good enough in legal circles ....