LOS ANGELES — Playboy has an Irish website company in its legal crosshairs for allegedly posting a link to its 60th anniversary issue supermodel Kate Moss photos before the shoot was publicly available.
The company has taken action in the Irish High Court claiming that the photos were available via a link on Entertainment Media Networks’ IEntertainment.ie site in early December 2013, a week before the 60th anniversary January/February 2014 magazine was available.
Playboy’s copyright infringement suit alleges that the Irish company is guilty of wrongful and unlawful “front running” and “completely destroyed” the 18-page pictorial’s exclusivity.
Playboy maintains that the photos were unlawfully published without its consent in an entry entitled "Save yourself a fiver. Here's Kate Moss' NSFW photos from Playboy" with a link to its website.
The link added, "It's all about saving every penny at this time of year. Every little helps and what not. So instead of having to wait for the latest 60th anniversary issue of Playboy featuring Kate Moss, we present to you Ms in full below."
But the defendant’s lawyer, Yvonne McNamara, told the court her client posted the link in a "lighthearted" manner after it discovered images of "a scantily clad" Ms Moss on the Internet and was subsequently removed shortly thereafter once the company’s managing director was made aware.
In a pretrial application put before Justice Marie Baker, Playboy asked the court for an order compelling Entertainment Media Network to file its defense so the action can proceed to a hearing. If no defense is filed then the magazine wants the court to make a judgment against the defendant.
The complaint also says the defendant caused it significant loss and damage as well as damage to its reputation by publishing the images without its consent or permission. Playboy is also seeking damages.