June 10, 2018
New Jersey Man Sues Company That Owns Adult Website Pornhub After His Picture Was Stolen, Used For Ad

The image may not be as racy as virtually everything else on the website, but Burlington County, New Jersey, resident Edward Kelly is suing the owners of Pornhub for using his photo for advertisements run on the adult entertainment site.

According to a report from NJ.com, Kelly filed a civil lawsuit against Mindgeek USA, Inc., after a friend saw a photo of him sitting in a car, wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and holding up several hundred-dollar bills next to the words "Make $752/day Like Me" and "See how I get it" on a Pornhub advertisement. The report notes that Kelly is the legal owner of the photo's copyright, as he had taken the picture himself, and that he did not allow for it to be used by outside sources without permission.

"Someone on Pornhub's advertising team found the photo… and decided to use it in an ad campaign without [Kelly's] consent," the lawsuit reads, as quoted by the Courier-Post.

The lawsuit further indicates that Kelly works in the "secular computer field," and that the ad featuring his photo has been live on Pornhub for at least six years. Furthermore, it is indicated that Kelly is concerned that people who see his face on an adult entertainment website's ad could get the wrong idea that the New Jersey man gave his express permission to let Pornhub use his picture for advertising purposes.

The Courier-Post report suggests that Kelly, who was "dismayed and distraught" after learning his photo was used in the advertisement, is suing for over $3 million, including more than $2 million for general compensatory damages and emotional distress, and more than $1 million in "infringer's profits," as he claims the image was used without his permission. The lawsuit was originally filed last month in state court in Mount Holly, before it was moved on Friday to federal court in Camden at Mindgeek's request.

Prior to Edward Kelly's lawsuit against Pornhub's parent company, the Daily Mail reported about the case of an unidentified woman who experienced severe distress and embarrassment after a friend she hadn't seen in two decades called her to say that she saw some of her sex videos on the adult entertainment site. A Shirehampton, United Kingdom man, Luke Brinson, was found guilty of posting the videos, and was given a 21-month prison sentence for disclosing sexual photographs with intent to cause distress.

As of this writing, both NJ.com and the Courier-Post have not been able to reach both parties' legal representatives for comment.