Recently, a digital memory card containing a number of personal copyright protected photographs of our clients was stolen. The police are currently investigating this matter. The photos depict, among other things, private moments and images of our clients and/or their minor children, taken in Namibia, including images from a private baby shower (the "Stolen Photos"). It is obvious to anyone viewing the Stolen Photos that they were taken in private, on private property and that they could only have been taken by our clients and/or a family member, who own all right title and interest thereto.
We understand that the person who stole the Stolen Photos, or an accomplice, has been offering them for sale to the various media outlets and celebrity content websites, and may have offered the Stolen Photos to you.
This letter is to provide you with notice that the Stolen Photos are copyright protected, to which my clients own right and title thereto. Any unauthorized publication, reproduction or dissemination of the Stolen Photos constitutes an infringement of my clients' copyrights in violation of the U.S. Copyright Act, Title 17 of the United States Code Section 101, et seq., and exposes you, and anyone else acting in concert with you, to civil liability, damages, injunctive relief and reimbursement of all attorneys' fees and costs incurred by my clients in connection with any copyright infringement action. Furthermore, if any monies are paid for the purchase of the Stolen Photos, you will be engaged in the purchase of stolen property.
In addition, under the circumstances that the Stolen Photos were taken, namely, at private and personal events on private property, my clients had a reasonable expectation of enjoying total privacy. The publication of the photos would therefore constitute a unlawful invasion and violation of my clients' right of privacy and would also be an unauthorized commercial appropriation of their names, likenesses and personas.
Anyone who publishes, disseminates, displays or otherwise exploits the Stolen Photos will be liable for substantial compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief. If you publish or disseminate and of the Stolen Photos, our clients will take further legal action to protect their rights, including by the filing of a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages, statutory damages for copyright violations, and attorneys' fees.
On behalf of our clients, we request as follows:
1. If you or any of your employees or agents are/have been approached and offered the right to acquire and publish any of the Photos, or are approached in any way with regard to the Photos, we ask that you immediately contact either myself or Evan Spiegel at Lavely & Singer at (310) 556-3501 x 238 or 247, so that the matter may be referred to the criminal authorities; and
2. That you cease and desist from exploiting, publishing, posting, distributing, or otherwise using or disseminating (with or without monetary charge) any of the Stolen Photos, through any venue or medium, including but not limited to on your website.
Please govern yourself accordingly.
This letter does not purport to constitute a complete or exhaustive statement of all of our clients' rights, contentions or legal theories. Nothing contained herein is intended as, nor should it be deemed to constitute, a waiver or relinquishment of any of our clients' rights or remedies, whether legal or equitable, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.