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Put down my mug: Greenville woman sues over photo in Natty Light ads

Posted February 22

Kayla Kraft is suing Anheuser-Busch for using a photo she posted on Facebook in an advertising campaign for Natural Light beer.
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— A Greenville woman has filed a federal lawsuit against beer giant Anheuser-Busch and a Raleigh-based distributor, alleging her photo is being illegally used in ads for Natural Light beer.

Kayla Kraft wants the ads pulled from circulation and seeks unspecified damages for invasion of privacy, misappropriation and copyright infringement.

According to the lawsuit, Kraft was at a bar with friends four years ago when she put on a fake mustache and drank from a bottle of Natural Light. A friend snapped a photo, and Kraft posted it to her Facebook page.

Anheuser-Busch and distributor R.A. Jeffreys acquired Kraft's photo through social media and began putting it on posters, coasters and other promotional items as part of a "Every Natty Has a Story" advertising campaign for the beer.

"Defendants reproduced, distributed, and publicly displayed the Kraft photograph without the authorization or consent of Kraft or (her friend), and have created unauthorized derivative works incorporating the Kraft photograph," the lawsuit states. "Defendants have engaged in a widespread pattern and practice of misappropriating the names and likeness of others for commercial purposes without permission or compensation."

17 Comments

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  • John Smith Feb 23, 1:45 p.m.
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    Here's a question for ya: She posted this photo 4 yrs ago. A-B is not trolling social media just looking for random people holding one of their beers....so how did they link to it?

  • Cameron Horn Feb 23, 10:34 a.m.
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    correction... the friend was the copyright owner

  • Cameron Horn Feb 23, 10:30 a.m.
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    "A friend snapped a photo, and Kraft posted it to her Facebook page."

    Kraft was the copyright owner

  • Tony Smith Feb 23, 10:26 a.m.
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    Nope. Facebook's right is for Facebook only (and the wording is an overreach, so you can't sue them if it shows up on another person's page). They cannot sell the rights to a photograph to another company.

    People can (and have) issue a takedown notice under the DMCA of 1996. Companies do it all the time for their intellectual property, and that right extends to regular people as well.

    Copyright on a photograph begins the moment you take it. And you are the copyright holder. It's easy to prove ownership/copyright through the EXIF data that is embedded in each photo.

    Facebook does make it easy to steal pictures, and most people don't understand their rights when it comes to photographs and videos. Large corporations (and their lawyers) know better.

  • Ashley Moore Feb 23, 10:24 a.m.
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    Reread the article. SHE posted it.

  • Cameron Horn Feb 23, 10:13 a.m.
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    The friend that took the pic was the copyright owner of the photo who gave to her friend which posted it on her FB page. This would be a license agreement between the two friends so what agreement did the copyright owner give to the person that posted the pic? This can get complicated

  • Shannon Speil Feb 23, 8:59 a.m.
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    .

    Yep. They own it once you post it on their site.

  • Catherine Edwards Feb 23, 8:44 a.m.
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    She needs to adjust her privacy settings. It probably was on public.

    "...the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings:..."

  • Ashley Moore Feb 23, 7:16 a.m.
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    From the Facebook EULA:

    "For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it."

  • Ed Ray Feb 23, 5:17 a.m.
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    A-B is about to lose a lot of money. This is copy right infringement at it's best. All the people that say Facebook owns their pictures do not know what they are talking about. Facebook can not sell you pictures without permission that is why you never see Facebook in this type of lawsuit. A-B is going to lose.

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