AdverClips Beta

AdverClips Beta

Last year, we began to see image based lawsuits popping up in the nightclub scene. Nightclubs had been “borrowing” images off the internet ( mostly women ) and using them in their nightclub flyers, websites, and social media posts.

In November of 2020, Wonderland Gentlemen’s Club Providence reached a nearly $1.9 million settlement with 28 models and actresses who alleged the business used their images in social media and advertising campaigns without permission and without compensation.

According to the agreement announcement, the women will collect the settlement and in exchange, agreed to dismiss their lawsuit. A lawyer for Wonderland had argued that the women voluntarily and knowingly relinquished any rights they had by publishing their images on the Internet without any notice against re-use by third parties.

The women said by using their images, the club made it appear as if they danced at or were otherwise affiliated with the club. The models alleged trademark infringement; false advertising; violating their right to privacy; unauthorized use of their images; defamation; and unjust enrichment. Several other strip clubs throughout the nation face similar lawsuits…. and this is just the tip of the iceburg. In a typical scenario, the club owners aren’t even aware they are misusing the models image. They typically hire a marketing agency or graphic agency to build advertisements for the club.

The model’s image will appear on a Facebook or Instagram page only for a week or so in connection with some special event at a club (not as a feature entertainer, but simply as a pretty face). The smaller design companies and agencies tend not be deep pockets so the clubs are the natural targets for the models. Some clubs have claimed that the graphics design companies are indispensable parties or otherwise try to case the blame on the non-party. But the reality is that clubs will not be relieved of liability under most causes of action for the wrongdoing of the design companies and will be left holding the bag.

You might think that these claims would be worth a couple of thousand dollars – equivalent to what the model was paid for the original photo shoot, but you would be mistaken: the models sue in packs and their cumulative claims start in the million dollar range – and they’re serious about it. The principle weapon in these cases is the potential for an award of attorney’s fees under the Lanham Act and state law statutes providing for recoveries in the event of deceptive and unfair trade practices, civil theft or unauthorized use of likeness.

These cases often settle simply because our clients cannot afford the cost of defense. These matters are always settled under strict confidentiality provisions so it is difficult to judge where the sweet spot is. However, all indications are that they tend to resolve in the low to mid-five figure range. At the Exotic Dancer Expo in Miami 2021, First Amendment Attorney Luke Liot discussed model image lawsuits in detail. Liort noted clubs have long used allowable images from web searches or stock photos agency on their pages. Unfortulately, even if a club pays for images, adult business usage is often prohibited without a model release. How to avoid the costly lawsuits ? Lirot explained “ If you put anybody’s face on your page, you better ha ve a model release, signed by that person whose image you portray.”

So we strategized and realized how we could build a solution for this. Adverclips exists because unlike most traditional stock image companies, we partner with the models. Instead of only getting paid for a photoshoot and turning the images over to us, they get paid in perpituity … from every single image download. Partnering with us makes it easy for both the models and advertease to allow the images to be used on non traditional pages such as adult club websites and marketing. Best of all, you get a licensing agreement from us for the images that you download that will not get you sued when using our images.

Adverclips Beta is one of our flagship products that we own and is launching soon. Keep an eye out for it.

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