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Myskina v. Conde Nast Publications, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
386 F. Supp. 2d 409 (2005)


Facts

Anastasia Myskina (plaintiff) was a 20-year-old top-ranked female tennis player. Myskina was a Russian citizen and was not fluent in English. An editor with Conde Nast Publications, Inc. (Conde Nast) (defendant) asked Myskina’s agent if Myskina would agree to be photographed for an issue of Gentleman’s Quarterly (GQ), a magazine. Myskina’s agent agreed, and Myskina went to a photoshoot for the magazine. The photographer was Mark Seliger (defendant). Myskina agreed to be photographed in the nude for the magazine cover. According to Myskina, her agreement was only given after Conde Nast and Seliger agreed to only use the photographs for the magazine. Myskina signed a release form drafted by Conde Nast, consenting to the use of the photographs by Conde Nast and others for editorial purposes. The release did not restrict the publication of the photographs. The release also did not contain a merger clause. Seliger completed the photoshoot for GQ. Seliger also took additional photographs of Myskina after the main photoshoot, but according to Myskina, Seliger agreed not to publish these photographs anywhere. These additional photographs depicted Myskina topless in blue jeans. Subsequently, Seliger licensed the photographs to another magazine, which published the photographs. Myskina sued Conde Nast and Seliger for breach of contract. Conde Nast and Seliger moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mukasey, J.)

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