Perhaps police stations should consider issuing model release forms along with standard booking procedure, as it appears a mother of four who was arrested for a DUI back in 2010 is now suing a background check website for illegally using her mugshot. The woman claims countless websites have branded her a "hot convict" and have destroyed her peace of mind.
The 28 year old mother, Meagan Simmons, claims a background check website has been using her incredibly attractive mugshot to profit commercially through advertising on their website. Mrs. Simmons was not contacted in any way to ask for her permission to use the images, nor was she compensated in any way for the public use of her image. She is seeking monetary compensation as well as an injunction to prevent any further use of the image as it has caused her great mental anguish as well as being an invasion of her privacy.
We here at Fstoppers have discussed licensing and commercial infringement on many occasions where the victim seems to be the photographer. However, this is a two way street and photographers are not the only ones who can leave the situation feeling robbed. I think the lesson to be learned here is to always credit and compensate your people. If not, have an agreement they can sign to release you of any headaches down the line. Otherwise, something like this could happen to you.
I'd love to hear whether you think she deserves compensation or if, as a convict, the woman should lose any rights she has to the photos and her privacy.
[Via Tampa Tribune]