|celebrity69 via fashionising|
Last week frockwriter revealed that the spectacular onyx and crystal corset and cuff worn by Lara Stone in the June edition of Playboy France were originally designed by Australian jeweller Jenny Mercian for the 2008 Victoria's Secret show. We also noted that some mystery surrounded the origin of the photos. Although some images had already been widely circulated online in late 2009, with only the website of photographer Greg Lotus cited as a source, it appeared to be the first time the shots had made it to print. Now comes news that Stone is is taking legal action against both Playboy France and Lotus, in order to "protect" her "reputation", claiming the publication of the shots was unauthorised and that she would never have posed for Playboy. Given the volume of nude work that Stone has pumped into the public domain in recent years, the claim that her reputation has been sullied by a nude Playboy spread seems a little frivolous. The far bigger issues, surely, are did Stone not have the right to consultation before the photos were sold to Playboy and is she entitled to remuneration?
One clue to the timing of the photoshoot is Stone’s strapped ankle, which some have made light of, assuming it may have been a styling accessory (along with the wheelchair which appears in some shots).
If frockwriter is not mistaken, the images were taken some time after the 2008 Victoria’s Secret show, on November 15 2008, when the corset was worn by Selita Ebanks - and the publication of several other photos of Stone with her ankled strapped shortly afterwards, reportedly after falling off a pair of killer Rodarte heels (possibly these) at a W photoshoot.
Just a reminder that although Stone is now ranked as the world number one editorial/advertising/runway model by models.com, in late 2008 it was a different matter.
Pivotal to Stone’s meteoric rise in 2009 was the publication, in February last year, of a virtual Lara Stone issue of Paris Vogue. With the cover line, “Et Vogue Créa Lara” ("And Vogue Created Lara" - a play on Roger Vadim’s 1956 classic, And God Created Woman, starring Brigitte Bardot).
When asked why she decided to dedicate 100 pages of editorial to the Dutch model, Paris Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld told Hintmag.com in late 2008:
“Lara had almost stopped working so I decided I wanted to make her a star”.
She might well have been in the 2008 VS show, but is it possible that the then much less high profile Stone did an edgy magazine submission with a mate, thinking it might help boost her profile - and either she, or her agent/s, neglected to formalise the terms of the arrangement with Lotus?
With Stone now at the very the top of the industry, commanding top dollar via lucrative advertising deals - such as a triple exclusive with Calvin Klein - quite obviously her image is far more valuable in 2010 than it was in 2008. Lotus was probably paid handsomely for the shots - although a lot less, presumably, than Playboy would have had to pay Stone to pose for them.
According to leading IP specialist Stephen Stern, from Melbourne's Corrs Chambers Westgarth, the go-to IP rep for LVMH and many luxury brands in Australia, provided that Lotus was working independently at the time the photographs were taken – and was not employed by another company – then the copyright most likely belongs to him.
“Unless there was a contract of some form – even oral – restricting the use of the photographs, the photographer could use them as he sees fit” Stern told frockwriter.
“But there is no one international law on ownership of copyright. It depends in which country the photos were taken - or where you want to stop the publication. Some countries do have rights of publicity (ie of public figures) that exist independently of copyright law. Everything depends on what was agreed or could reasonably be implied in the agreement between Lara Stone and the photographer. And lastly, any damages that she could claim, if there are in fact numerous nude photos of her in circulation, if the (Playboy) photos were obscene then there may be reputational issues. If they are simply like other naked photos of her, then her loss might well be what she could charge to have those photos published”.