A Florida woman is suing the Orlando Magic after claiming the franchise used a picture of her at a game for marketing purposes and without her permission, according to a report from Stephen Hudak of The Orlando Sentinel.
Kristi Slavin, 30, is reportedly suing the team for $15k for "uncomfortable and embarrassing encounters and questions" from family, friends and coworkers. Last season, the team displayed an enlarged image of her face on the back of a Lynx bus, on light-post banners and in a magazine. She further alleges that the team altered her public image.
Magic spokesperson Joel Glass confirmed that the Magic are aware of the lawsuit. He also said that she would not be used in marketing initiatives moving forward, a rather obvious comment given the context in which she is marketed; the image is of her holding up her arms, wearing a Dwight Howard jersey.
But as the report cites an intellectual-property law professor, Slavin may have little leverage in the case. On the back of every ticket to an NBA game exists language that allows the team "the irrevocable and unrestricted right and license" to use the image of a ticket holder in "any medium or context." Within this language is another line that states that the ticket holder is not entitled to any compensation nor does the ticket holder have to issue further authorization for the team to use the image.
Her lawyer, Hank Hornsby, contends that she was not merely a face in the crowd, but rather a woman who was targeted for use in a marketing campaign because she's young and attractive. Among other reasons why she is entitled to a settlement:
Slavin's lawyer said no fan reasonably expects to surrender privacy rights simply by walking into a sports venue. Hornsby said the ticket's fine print also should not serve as a waiver or permission to allow the team to "plaster your face on a bus."