Photo-retouch blogging draws lawyer nastygram

by Walter Olson on December 28, 2009

Photographer Anthony Citrano:

On Tuesday night, I received an aggressive and threatening letter from Martin Singer, Demi Moore’s attorney. It is marked “Confidential Legal Notice – Publication or Dissemination is Prohibited”. However, since Mr. Singer and I have no confidentiality agreement, and it provides essential context to the matter at hand, I have decided to publish it.

Citrano’s original post on Boing Boing discussed evidence that a Vanity Fair cover photo of the actress had been retouched. Now Boing Boing reports that it too, as well as other blogs such as Jezebel, have received nastygrams from Singer, and responds with new evidence on the retouching question. And it adds:

Yes, the discussion at hand is only about an image of a celebrity on the cover of a fashion magazine. But the ability to freely discuss the provenance and technical history of a photo, including those with more crucial news value — say, images of detainee abuse, or Iranian missiles — is a freedom we believe should be preserved.

On the Lavely & Singer firm’s “don’t you dare print this nastygram” demands, see, e.g., this earlier post. More: Scott Greenfield.

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Simple Justice
12.29.09 at 9:20 am


1 Doug 12.29.09 at 8:20 am

Whenever I see letters from potential plaintiff’s attorney’s purporting to make the letter “Confidential Legal Notice – Publication or Dissemination is Prohibited”, my estimation of the the legal profession drops a little more. To me, that is always a sign the author of the letter is making a poor legal assertion and is trying to stifle debate.

2 SmartDude 12.29.09 at 9:44 am

Ms Demi Moore should have all print photographs stamped “Confidential Legal Notice – Publication or Dissemination is Prohibited”.

3 Le Mur 12.29.09 at 11:12 am

As a photoshopper, I thought the model’s Photoshopped hip was funny because it was so poorly done and obvious. The threats from the the law-talking-guy were just silly.

4 A.W. 12.29.09 at 3:58 pm

ironically, i would never have heard of this story but for the fact that this guy sent the nastygram. hecuvajob you are doing there, bud. now even more of us know about this crappy photoshop.

5 mojo 12.30.09 at 2:33 pm

Would “Bite me, Shyster” be considered a valid response? Would it be defamatory?

How about if I stick in a “don’t dare print this” warning?

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