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Playboy Sues Harper's Bazaar Publisher for Copyright Infringement

January 18, 2014 (2:52 pm) GMT
On Harper's Bazaar website, Hearst Communications shared a link to Kate Moss' Playboy spread which is still on sale.
Kate Moss

Playboy Magazine is not happy that its spread is made available online on another website and is blaming Harper's Bazaar publisher Hearst Communications for sharing the link. Attorneys representing the adult magazine filed a lawsuit against Hearst for copyright infringement.

On its website Harper's posted a photo of clothed Moss and a link to Entertainment.ie that displayed nine of the twelve photos of Moss in various state of undress. "See Kate Moss' Full Fab Playboy Spread," the hyperlink on Harper's website read. They were shot by famed fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Playboy's 60th anniversary issue which is still on newsstands.

Although the links have been removed, Playboy is still taking the matter to court for loss in sale. "Hearst's link to the Entertainment.ie website page cannot be justified by any suggestion that Hearst was reporting the news of Ms. Moss's appearance in the 60th anniversary issue," the lawsuit said. The legal documents were filed in federal court in Manhattan on Friday, January 17.

In addition, Playboy noted that it "welcomed the media's reporting and discussion of its images," but Hearst "well exceeded the bounds of mere news reporting" in an alleged bid "to attract and drive Internet visitor traffic."

An attempt to settle the matter "amicably" failed and thus Playboy wants Hearst to pay $150,000 for each piece of "infringed work," meaning the company could be forking out a total of approximately $1.35 million.

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