Michael Dweck is a New York-based photographer who snapped the above photo, called "Sonya, Poles, Montauk, NY", back in 2002. When an upstart company called Malibu Denim used the image on one of their hang tags without permission last year, the photographer filed a lawsuit to stop them and asked for compensation (a similar photograph sold at Christie's in London in 2009 for $32,898).
Part of Malibu Denim's defense was that the image appeared on the cover of one of Dweck's books, which they bought for just $75, so somehow they felt this granted them the rights to use the image commercially. But obviously a judge disagreed and has just ruled that they must now pay Dweck $100,000 in damages. When asked about the outcome, the photographer said, "With the settlement money I can now afford to buy the pair of designer jeans I've wanted at Barneys."
· Wipeout!: Denim Company Must Pay Photographer $100,000 For Appropriating Sexy Surfer Pic [ARTINFO]
· Designer Must Pay $100 Grand for Using Nude Art [Courthouse News Service]