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Monroe photo suit ends in victory for publisher

Publisher awarded $800,000 in attorney fees; photos in public domain
/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal judge has awarded nearly $800,000 in attorney’s fees to a book publisher named in a copyright lawsuit over its use of Marilyn Monroe photographs.

The award followed a summary judgment in favor of the publisher, VNU Business Media Inc. The company was sued for using seven Monroe photographs in the 2001 biography “Blonde Heat.”

A court found that the photos — from the movies “Bus Stop” and “The Prince and the Showgirl” — were in the public domain, the publisher’s attorney, Andrew J. Thomas, said Monday.

The summary judgment has been appealed.

Surjit Soni, the attorney who represented Milton H. Greene Archives Inc., said the award also would be appealed. The company was named for the photographer who took the photos.