A woman whose photo was taken while eating at a Chipotle in 2006 believes she is entitled to $2.2 billion after it was used without her consent.
The full story is pretty straight forward: Leah Caldwell was eating at a Chipotle in 2006 when photographer Steve Adams took a photo of her without her knowledge. As she left the restaurant, Steve asked her to sign a release, but she refused. Later, Chipotle purchased the photograph from Adams, Photoshopped in an alcoholic beverage near her food, and began using the image for advertising.
The reason Caldwell didn't sue back in 2006 was because she didn't notice her image being used until 2014. Since then, she has seen herself on multiple occasions in multiple markets.
This was actually quite convenient for Caldwell, because she is seeking $2,237,633,000, which is the amount of money she claims Chipotle has made between 2006 and 2015. Once Chipotle's 2016 profits are made public, she wants that added to the total as well. Apparently Caldwell believes that a single picture of her is 100% responsible for all of the success of the restaurant.
I don't think there is any doubt that Caldwell should be compensated for this error, but $2.2 billion may be a bit high. Ten thousand dollars and a year's supply of burritos would be more than enough to compensate for the error, don't you think?
As photographers, this should be a reminder that model releases may be more important than you think. An image you took ten years ago might cost you a couple billion dollars.
[via Fox News]