Lawyers Run The World

Married Woman Sues Match for Photo Use

According to a lawsuit filed, Match has been using stock photography to represent “clients” of, even without seemingly their permission. In one case, Anne Read Lattimore is suing a photographer and two websites for using a photograph to imply that she is was single and looking for some sweet lovin’ on

The lawsuit says that Lattimore had agreed to be photographed after getting a haircut from a salon, for the exclusive use of the salon in promoting itself.  Unfortunately for her, the photographer uploaded the photo to Stock.xchng, a free photo site owned by Getty Images.

According to her, then used her photo for ads on Facebook, implying that she was single. Friends and family in response wondered why her face was being used by On top of that, she says that the photo was also used in a story about homosexual’s coming out of the closet, implying that she was gay.

More than likely Match didn’t use the photograph themselves, but an affiliate used it. Whoever the affiliate was, will most likely be sued also for using her likeness without permission. This seems to be a serious issue in our industry, especially with Facebook ads that are often created for companies by independent affiliates. Many times the affiliates just use photographs they find off the ‘net, but in this case the affiliate seems to have used a photograph on a free exchange that they believed to be legal to use.

What are your thoughts?

Copy of lawsuit below:

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Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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  1. The only party at fault here is the photographer who uploaded the picture to the stock photography site. I also find it VERY hard to believe that the advertising containing her image was spotted by her friends & family! If this is indeed the case, someone should give an award to the media buyer and/or affiliate responsible!!! 😉 Great exposure! haha. This woman needs to get a life and be a little more careful to whom she gives permission to use her photograph.

  2. Hey Pace!
    I am shocked to see this story,i am 100% sure it is a fault of that photographer.How could anybody do like this.That women did the right thing with that photographer.Thank you for sharing this.

    Good Luck and God Bless!

    With Regards!
    Samuel Joshua.

  3. Very disturbing especially for a small affiliate like me who use free photo service website like Flickr and Photobucket. Better be careful than be sorry. I always put attribution on my photos and give credit where credit is due.

    This is just shows that even though the photographer has given permission to other people to republish their work but this doesn’t mean that the subject in the photo has agreed to such.

    1. The affiliate may bear responsibility. Just because a photographer is happy to provide their image to you – claiming you can use for commercial purposes – if there is a person in the picture, then until you see a copy of the model release – you’re skating on potentially thin ice.

      Especially with Flickr photographers

      1. I guess the tip of the iceberg is the misleading ad implying that she is ‘single’ and ‘homosexual’. Otherwise if you just use it for blogs, there should not be much problem.

  4. Hi Pace,
    That’s scary! We really should be careful in using images. I use Google images and Flickr. I only use attribution and put photo credits when I remember.
    I also think the photographer is at fault here. If Ms. Lattimore only agreed to be photographed for the salon’s use, then he has no business uploading the photo to the stock photography site.
    This is also a reminder for us to be careful in having our pictures taken. There should be a clear agreement from the start between the parties involved.
    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day!

  5. As a photographer, I find the actions of the photographer in this case abhorrent if he advised the plaintiff that the photo was to be used only in promoting this salon. Depending on the exact release the subject signed, however, the photographer may have been technically legal but morally/ethically completely wrong.

    The photographer probably used his typical standard release form, most of which spell out that the release is what is binding, not any verbal agreements.

    Personally, if I want to use a photo for any purpose other than originally spelled out with the subject, I contact the subject first. From my perspective (and it’s just that my perspective) this sounds like the photographer was hired by the salon, which then brings me to question his contract with the salon as well. If the contract with the salon stipulated exclusive use of the photos as well, the photographer could be facing a suit from the salon for breach of contract as well.

  6. I’m a little surprised by some of the comments that say this is “no big deal”.

    Using photographs, articles, etc. without express permission just because you found them on the Internet is not legal.

    Regarding this situation, it sounds as though the photographer decided to make some extra money off of a photograph taken for a salon. I’m assuming the photographer had the woman sign a generic release, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he/she didn’t bother and just assumed the woman would never find out. I think we should all learn from this and in the future ask permission before using photos on Flicker/Google Images, buy rights to photos whenever possible, and don’t create fake personal ads/testimonials.

  7. That is why never use fotos of people – just things, and I always give credt to the photographer. Really scray thought!

  8. Very interesting article, especially since I’m a designer and work everyday dealing with stockphotos. I’d have to say that the photographer was at fault and should have disclosed that her photo was going to be uploaded to a stock site to be used for anything and everything. I would definitely be upset if I were her, I think that she deserved some sort of payment if her face was going to be used for advertising. I’m not that surprised friends and family were able to track down her photo, especially on facebook.

  9. If it was an affiliate who used the photo without’s permission, should not be held liable. The affiliate was pretty careless. On the other hand, if the photo was offered as free stock photography, would it not be the photographer who placed it there that is liable?

  10. Well it’s like this. A contract can be written or verbal. Simply, if it was stated to her that the photo was exclusively for the Salon, then the contract was breached and she should be awarded whatever is coming to her. I think I’m more concerned on the subject of though however. I think it’s kind of slimy to use stock photos and claim that they are one of the members seeking love. I’m sure other companies do it, but Match is supposed to have a BETTER than the rest reputation, I think this story reflects poorly on the company.

    Aaron Siegel
    Are 4G smartphones really better than 3G cell phones?

  11. I imagine that after she sues, they or their affiliate will try and sue the photo sharing site who in turn will… etc. Actually this is an excellent example of how the law moderates behaviour. In this case I don’t imagine the photographer who started this whole thing off will have much more than his collar felt and account terminated and I imagine the photo sharing site has disclaimers for this type of circumstance. I’d love to see how this pans out.

  12. Boy, I cannot wait to see how this pans out.

    Will you be updating this post in the future if and when you hear the result?

    I gave you the plus 1 and will follow up on comments.


  13. The person who uploaded the photo is the one in the complete wrong. I would be livid if my face appeared in ads such as this. However, I wonder if she would have been equally upset if her face was on financial advertisement or a positive campaign? Would she be peeved or enjoy the fame?

    Also, thanks to the copy of the court records, we all have our address. Nothing is private these days.

  14. This is really bad news. I’m using iStockphoto all the time and i think they are in sack with Getty so can I trust that I won’t be slapped with a lawsuit like this. Jeezzz!

  15. Pretty eye opening stuff for most of us making a go of it online. Basically, you are at the mercy of people trying to milk every penny out of anything they can. You definitely need to keep educating yourself for survival, let alone being profitable. Thanks Bill

  16. There are always people out there who are trying to make money off the back of other peoples hard with with little or no effort of their own, its sickening.

    saying that photos are a funny one IMO, I dont like it when other people put my photo online, it creeps me out and I dont like how I have no control of it, you will not get me on facebook/myspace or anywhere like that.

  17. They must learn from this big and shameful mistakes. I hope more and more people will be able to read this so they will enough reason not to do the same.

  18. This woman is clearly after a big payday. Otherwise she would sue the photographer first.

    But she’s going after, she wants some bling.

    By the way, nothing wrong with using a stock photo in an article. The idea that it implies she is gay is BS. If they said she was an actual Match member then that is different because you cannot use stock photos for testimonials.

  19. Before you judge this woman I would like to say something. I was talking to my brother (long distance) yesterday. We were on facebook together looking at family photos when he told me he was seeing an ad on the right side for and MY picture was on it. I had no knowledge of this, am a married woman with kids and grandkids and was shocked.

    I didn’t have a photographer take any pictures of me, have very few pics on facebook, and don’t know how got my picture.

    It wasn’t showing up on my page. Maybe the ads are geographic in nature since he is on the west coast and I am on the east coast. He made a copy of it and is sending it to me. I can’t wait to see this!! I said that maybe it’s just someone who looks like me, but he swears it’s ME. If it is then I’m mad as heck too!!! What if my friends would see this?? Obviously my family (brother) has. And I’m from the west coast so other people out there are probably seeing it too.

What's your opinion?

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