Roe v. Amazon

714 Fed. Appx 565 (2017)

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Roe v. Amazon

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
714 Fed. Appx 565 (2017)

Facts

Greg McKenna self-published a fictional book called A Gronking to Remember. The book cover featured a picture of John and Jane Roe (plaintiffs) without their permission. McKenna used several online services to self-publish the book, including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc., and Smashwords, Inc. (the distributors) (defendants). Before letting McKenna use their services, the distributors required McKenna to warrant that the book did not violate any right of privacy, which would be libelous, and that he had all the necessary legal rights to publish the book. McKenna made these warranties and published the book. The Roes sued McKenna and the distributors for wrongful appropriation of their persona, invasion of privacy, and the privacy tort of false light. The Roes contended that the distributors should have inquired as to whether McKenna had permission to use the Roes’ photo. McKenna filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which was denied. The distributors filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted. The Roes appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Norris, J)

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