The Court of Appeals held yesterday that newsworthiness trumps New York privacy law in a case where a 14-year-old girl’s picture was used without consent to illustrate a magazine column on teenage sex and drinking.
By a 6-1 margin, the Court ruled that publishers cannot be held liable for using a person’s likeness “in a substantially fictionalized” way, so long as the photograph bears a genuine relationship to a newsworthy article and is not “an advertisement in disguise.” It declined to recognize a third exception for “fictionalization,” as had been urged by the Florida teenager and, in an amicus, the 96,000-member Screen Actors Guild.
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