On July 5, 2018, three Manhattan-based strip clubs moved to dismiss allegations by 11 models in a New York federal court that their images were improperly used to advertise the clubs.

Private Eyes Gentlemen’s Club, New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club and Flashdancers Gentlemen’s Club moved for summary judgment after claims were filed against them by actress Carmen Electra, Playboy Playmate Tiffany Toth, amongst others. The prime basis for their motions is that the women do not own the copyrights to the images. “Most of the 11 plaintiffs concede that they were paid to pose for the subject images and they necessarily relinquished all rights of control via releases signed for those photo shoots,” the club said.

Last month, the models sought summary judgment arguing that there is no question the strip clubs tricked customers into thinking the models endorse these establishments and would likely appear at these facilities. They also contend that these images “harm and taint” their reputation which is “critical in order to maximize their earning potential, book modeling contracts, and establish each of their individual brands.” The complaint states, “In order to have continued success, the models argue they must be selective with regard to which companies and brands they model for, alleging that the intentionally misleading advertisements have served to sully their reputations.”

The case is Toth et al. v. 59 Murray Enterprises Inc. et al., case number 1:15-cv-08028, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is a boutique entertainment and business litigation firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The Firm has extensive experience handling cases involving entertainment law, having provided top quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized in multiple publications for its many achievements and high ethical standards, including Martindale-Hubbell and Super Lawyers magazine.

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