Gita Hall May, a 79-year-old ex-fashion model, filed a lawsuit in March against Lionsgate, the producer of AMC's Mad Men. May alleged that in the show's opening credits, her image appears from a shoot she did with Richard Avedon more than 50 years ago.
May says that Lionsgate never got her permission to use the image, which appeared in a Revlon ad.
Lionsgate is fighting May's allegations on the grounds of the First Amendment. The company has filed an anti-SLAPP motion, saying that May is trying to interfere with its rights.
Scott Hornbacher, an executive producer on Mad Men, says that the credits contain more than 40 period advertisements. He has submitted a declaration saying that the opening sequence was storyboarded and carefully put together.
"Visible for barely more than one second, the image from the advertisement ... has been altered and combined with dozens of other creatively altered images also taken from period advertisements and with new creative elements to form a highly distinctive opening sequence that is as much creative expression as the content of the Series itself," reads Lionsgate’s response.
Lawsuits surrounding people's publicity rights are very hit or miss under California intellectual property law, as there seems to be little rhyme or reason to what courts rule. Lionsgate says that it can prove the credits are transformative, however.
Who do you think is right?