Judge Rules in Case Involving Examining Photo of Jon Hamm's Bulge

Saturday September 12, 2020

A New York City judge ruled Thursday that the Huffington Post did not break copyright law when it published a photo Jon Hamm and his pants bulge, Page Six reports.

In 2013, the website published a viral paparazzi photo of the "Mad Men" star, who is seen walking down a street in the pic, for a story called "25 things you wish you hadn't learned in 2013 and must forget in 2014." HuffPo edited the snap, adding a black text box over Hamm's crotch area with the phrase "IMAGE LOADING."

Manhattan federal Judge Ronnie Abrams said in here ruling that there's legal precedent for news outlets using licensed images that "illustrate what all the fuss is about."

"Here too, the photograph was used to illustrate what all the fuss is about, namely Hamm's 'privates' and the public's fixation with them," Abrams wrote.

Page Six adds: "In addition, HuffPost mocked the actor's package, and the accompanying article poked fun at media outlets that deemed the photo newsworthy. The flip nature of the piece on Hamm's piece proves HuffPost's use of the image was 'transformative' and offered criticism of the photograph, Abrams said in the ruling."

The judge also sited an except from the article and said it "reinforces the Court's conclusion that the article aims to mock the public fixation on Hamm's 'privates' in addition to mocking Hamm himself."

Over the years, the media has focused on Hamm's member. He's gotten so much attention that he spoke out about it in 2014.

"Would you want people walking up to you and pointing at your dick? I can't believe I'm still talking about this," he told Men's Journal at the time. "But I've worn underwear every day of my life and the fact that I'm painted as this exhibitionist is a little annoying. It's become a meme, I guess. Being someone who people want to photograph, you have to open yourself up to the positive and negative. It is what it is. If I get mad at it I'll look like a douchebag. But it's silly."

But in 2016, he opened up about his fans' obsession with his penis and seemed to have a change of heart.

"By the way, as rumors go - not the worst. It was a topic of fascination for other people - certainly not me," Hamm told Australian website News.com.au.

Nevertheless, Lawrence Schwarzwald, the photographer who took the pic of Hamm, is looking to filing an appeal.

"It's one of the most infringed upon stolen photos that I have. It became a very famous photo," Schwarzwald said, adding he didn't notice Hamm's bulge at first. He also said he disagreed that HuffPo placing the text box over the photo was "transformative."

"This is not Jackson Pollock or Andy Warhol doing something with the image. It's clickbait for a newspaper," he said, according to Page Six. "The photo, with or without the outline of his penis showing is clickbait, that's about why every newspaper or tabloid magazine in the world ran it."

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