Edwards v. Polanski et al. (D. Mass. 20-cv-11942).

  • October 29, 2020

Photographer Harvey Edwards, known for a series of ballet-related photographs, accuses the film-making defendants including Roman Polanski of infringing his copyright in a particular photograph, “Leg Warmers,” in their 1992 film “Bitter Moon,” which is now available through streaming services. He says that the photograph, which has been sold in poster form since 1979, has been used as scenery or set decoration in hundreds of films, television shows, commercials and the like, for which he receives compensation. Edwards says that, had he been asked, he would have refused permission for Polanski to use the poster in the film, a disturbing and poorly-reviewed movie that involves emotional and sexual torture between a husband and wife that culminates in their murder-suicide. In addition to the copyright infringement claim, Edwards asserts negligent infliction of emotional distress in connection with the use of the photograph in a film bearing an utterly inconsistent artistic message. Personal jurisdiction is based on the film being available for streaming in Massachusetts – none of the defendants are based in Massachusetts, and no other ties to the Commonwealth are pled.

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