All that’s left now of the short-lived literary classic A Gronking to Remember are short excerpts scattered across the internet and that clip of Gilbert Gottfried reading from author Lacey Noonan’s phenomenal erotica. Soon after the world learned the “Gronk spike” romantically re-imagined, Amazon pulled the e-book for reasons unknown.
Noonan’s not knowing the ins and outs of image copyright law (and the NFL’s iron grip on said copyrights) was the assumed reason, but it looks like a much larger lawsuit is to blame. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
“The cover of the book contains a photograph of the Plaintiffs which was taken as part of their engagement journey leading toward their wedding,” states the complaint. “The photograph was appropriated by the Defendants for commercial gain without the permission of the Plaintiffs nor with the permission of any lawful copyright holder.”
The lawsuit targets Noonan, and also Apple, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble for allowing readers to access the work in iBooks, Kindle and Nook digital formats. The plaintiffs — captioned as “John Roe” and “Jane Roe” — are asserting violations of their rights of publicity under Ohio law.
That’s right, folks. An unidentified engaged couple identified themselves as the young couple pictured the book’s original cover, and this made them none too happy. So they’ve filed suit against Noonan and just about everybody else who sold or promoted the book.
Despite the obvious embarrassment, the couple’s lawsuit has opened the floodgates for questions regarding the various legalities (and otherwise) of online outlets’ self-publishing policies. How Noonan gained access to the engagement photo is one of the plaintiff’s more pressing questions.
I wonder how many #deflategate jokes “John Roe” had to contend with throughout the Super Bowl XLIX coverage.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)