Ancestry.com Wins Class Action Over Its Use of Yearbook Photos
A federal judge has thrown out a class action lawsuit against Ancestry.com before lawyers could get it to trial.
Chicago’s Judge Virginia Kendall on Sept. 16 granted summary judgment to the company, which was accused of violating the Illinois Right of Publicity Act when it published old yearbook photos without permission to advertise its pay service.
Kendall had already thrown out claims under Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act in late 2021.
Plaintiffs lawyers failed to work around what Kendall determined was the IRA’s one-year statute of limitations by arguing each payment Ancestry made to a company that licenses yearbook names and images started the statute over.
“But Ancestry derives no financial benefit by paying another company; the licensing agreement is an expense incurred by the company, not a profit from the use of someone’s image,” she wrote.
“Ancestry never republished or reused (the plaintiff’s) image in these transactions. These payments were simply a routine part of the company’s business.”
You can read more in an article by John O’Brien published in the Legal Newsline web site at: https://bit.ly/3dP9gXV.