Lawsuit claim: legal right to more publicity

by Ted Frank on September 12, 2006

Some time ago, celebrity boutique and paparazzi-magnet Kitson had a legal dispute with Us Weekly magazine over payment for a book party the store threw for an Us editor. It was settled for a small chunk of change and a standard non-disparagement clause over the lawsuit. Us Weekly had the last laugh, however; it stopped covering the store in its magazine, to the point of cropping out the Kitson logo when publishing photos of celebrities shopping there. Or it thought it had the last laugh, because Kitson is now suing Us Weekly claiming a legal right to the publicity the magazine is withholding and alleging $10,000/week in damages from the loss of publicity. The Jossip blog has the complaint and somewhat more detail than the mainstream press account. (Andrew Blankstein, “Celebrity Boutique Sues Us Weekly, Saying Lack of Coverage Is Hurting Business”, LA Times, Sep. 12) (via Romenesko).

{ 3 comments }

1 Eh Nonymous 09.13.06 at 12:01 pm

That’s hilarious.

Some people can’t lose for losing.

Of course, attention-grabbing firms usually want to grab more attention – you don’t suppose your coverage in some small way replicates the same harm as mainstream media coverage of this pathetic attempt to game the system?

Amusing, glad you blogged about it for my own sake, but I wonder:

Is there any more appropriate response to a lawsuit over insufficient publicity, than to decline to blog about it?

(or comment about it, I suppose, so am I committing the same sin on a lesser scale?) :)

2 David Nieporent 09.13.06 at 1:01 pm

The suit claims that there was an oral agreement as part of the settlement of their prior suit. In any other state, that would be a non-starter, but California has an idiotic doctrine that there’s no such thing as a fully-integrated contract.

Even with that, some of the claims (that lack of coverage is “disparaging”) are frivolous.

3 geekgurl 09.14.06 at 2:22 pm

Bad publicity is still publicity. I say US Weekly has every right to not promote a business if that is what they want to do. However if they use a picture that includes the store they should just let the picture be without any changes but not include the name of the business in text.

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