An Image Protection Service Sues LA Jewelry Store for Using Former Playboy Model's Likeness
Timed Out LLC, a California company, that advertises its image protection services to models has sued LA Girl Jewelry for using Tiffany Toth's image and likeness in its advertisements. The complaint alleges that Toth assigned her right to sue to Timed Out. This complaint is another in the increasing trend of suits brought by companies that have either been assigned identity-holders' rights of publicity or their right to sue. A decision last year by a California Court of Appeal paved the way for such entities by upholding the assignability of the right to sue for right of publicity violations. See Timed Out, LLC v. Youabian, Inc., 229 Cal. App. 4th 1001 (2014). Timed Out's website indicates that it is not a law firm and that it is focused on soliciting business from models who see their image appear either without their permission, or even with permission but in ways they "hate." It is not yet clear whether Timed Out is a force for good—protecting models who are lower on the totem pole and can't otherwise afford legal services—or a force for mischief—right of publicity's very own troll.
Complaint, Timed Out, LLC v. LA Girl Jewelry (Filed Sup. Ct. Cal., Oct. 30, 2015)