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Neff v. Time, Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
406 F. Supp. 858 (1976)


John Neff (plaintiff) was at a Pittsburgh Steelers game with a group of other fans. A Sports Illustrated photographer took several photographs of the group for a book being written about Steelers fans. The fans knew that the photographs were being taken and posed for the camera. None of the fans objected to the photographs being taken. An excerpt of the book was printed in Sports Illustrated along with three of the photographs. One of the chosen photographs depicted Neff with his fly down. The title of the article was “A Strange Kind of Love.” The article did not include Neff’s name. Neff brought suit against Time, Inc. (Time) (defendant), the parent company of Sports Illustrated, for appropriation of name or likeness. Neff claimed that the use of the photograph was embarrassing to him. The art director for Sports Illustrated stated in an affidavit that the photograph of Neff was chosen because “it represented the typical Steelers fan: a rowdy, strong rooter, much behind his team, having a good time at the game.” Time moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marsh, J.)

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