20 Years Back Nowadays: Barbra Streisand Sued A Photographer And The Streisand Impact Was Born

from the pleased-birthday-streisand-result dept

Commonly on Saturday we have our “this week in history” posts, highlighting Techdirt stories from lots of several years in the past. But this 7 days I needed to spotlight a tale that didn’t occur on Techdirt, but turned into a Techdirt issue. 20 years in the past today, actress/singer Barbra Streisand sued photographer Kenneth Adelman for daring to photograph her coastal mansion as aspect of his (intriguing) job to photograph the full west coast of the US from a helicopter to monitor erosion in excess of time.

In 2002 this was an extremely formidable challenge by Adelman. It was prior to we all had prevalent accessibility to satellite imagery, and before the website labored the way it does now. Adelman established up a very amazing web site which is continue to up right now in all its 2002-period glory (nevertheless he has, as was component of the primary strategy, updated it with far more contemporary photographs more than time).

Either way, 1 of the 1000’s of pictures of the coastline incorporate Barbara Streisand’s compound:

The aerial photo showing a large house perched atop a cliff overlooking a beach and the ocean.

And so, she sued on this working day in 2003:

Image of the complaint caption, filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles. The case is Barbra Streisand against Kenneth Adelman, Pictopia.com, Layer42.net, and Does 1 through 20.

You can see the 5 unique promises, all variations on privateness or publicity legal rights violations (all of which had been naturally preposterous), and still she demanded $10 million in damages for every assert, for a grand total of $50 million. For an aerial photograph of her property.

The relaxation, as they say, is heritage. Streisand sued, and in Adelman’s anti-SLAPP movement to try to get the circumstance dismissed, he disclosed that the picture of Streisand’s dwelling had been considered a grand overall of six occasions, two of which were being from Streisand’s personal attorneys, and most of the relaxation appeared to be by Streisand herself and some neighbors:

Streisand alleges that "there is no telling how many people have downloaded the photograph of Plaintiff's property and residence . . . but the numbers could easily already be in the thousands." She is off by several orders of magnitude. In fact, during the previous three and one-half months before the complaint was served (the download interface was added to the website on February 14, 2003) the download interface was used for Image 3850 only six times (including two downloads by Streisand's own attorneys and perhaps others by Streisand or her neighbors). In contrast, during that same period the website had a total of 14,418 downloads. Similarly, before Streisand filed of this lawsuit, only three reprints of Image 3850 had been ordered - one by Streisand's neighbors with whom she is disputing her planned construction and two reprints by Streisand herself.

However, right after the lawsuit was submitted and the story hit the information, the image acquired almost half a million sights. Oops.

1 factor I acquired in examining the aspects of this now, having said that, is that Streisand experienced tried out to file the lawsuit beneath seal (which ought to not have been authorized anyway), but seemingly her attorneys screwed up, and thus it was unsealed, top to the publicity.

We first wrote about Streisand suing on June 1st of 2003. On June 24th we wrote about how the photo of her house experienced develop into “an world-wide-web hit” for the reason that of the lawsuit. The whole point grew to become a little something of a joke that we and many in the Techdirt local community would refer to generally. Even though, it was in fact a year and a fifty percent later on, on January 5th, 2005, that I named the concept the Streisand Influence in reaction to another foolish authorized danger (in excess of a photograph of a urinal in a seaside resort).

And then it kinda took off on its very own. We stated it often on Techdirt, and in 2007, Andy Greenberg (now at Wired, then at Forbes) wrote about it. In 2008, I bought to go on NPR’s All Items Viewed as to discuss to Robert Siegel about the notion.

So, while “The Streisand Effect” did not truly go mainstream for about five a long time, it was 20 yrs back right now that Streisand took the fateful move that resulted in “The Streisand Effect” becoming a matter with an significantly significant Wikipedia webpage (that I have never ever had anything at all to do with at all). There have been tons of articles or blog posts on it. It even bought me described by the Merriam-Webster individuals which is actually a emphasize of my lifetime.

As for the case against Adelman, he did not just prevail: he won his anti-SLAPP movement, and Streisand had to pay his legal fees, which she inevitably did:

Photograph of a check to Ken ADelman for $155,567.04.

Filed Underneath: barbra streisand, kenneth adelman, streisand impact, the streisand influence