Remember the era of Jon Hamm’s third leg casually strolling down the street with him while the two were still filming Mad Men? It’s OK if you don’t, that was like... 100 years ago. But the HammHeads still pining for the golden years of Hamm and his ham are in for a treat, as a court case was just settled concerning his tendency to trawl around NYC in some loose-fitting trousers.
A lawsuit between photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald and HuffPost just wrapped up in a Manhattan federal court, after the outlet used Schwartzwald’s photo in a 2013 blog post that mentioned the internet’s ongoing craze over his alleged dick print. Page Six reports that Judge Ronnie Abrams ruled Thursday that Huffpost didn’t break copyright laws in a post titled “25 Things You Wish You Hadn’t Learned in 2013 and Must Forget In 2014,” written by Andy McDonald and Nick Wing. For #24, McDonald and Wing wrote:
“Some ad men don’t do underwear. This year has been a busy one for “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm’s privates. Apparently he’s very blessed south of the border, and he, or those who examine photographs of him, really want you to know that. Hamm says he wants people to stop talking about his loins, but it might help if he’d put on some underwear.”
As for the image, the site added a GIF over his spacious trousers in the form of a black text box that read: “Image Loading...”
The foundation of Schwartzwald’s lawsuit seems to be his lawyer’s assertion that HuffPost used the image without licensing, breaking copyright law. In her ruling, Judge Abrams claimed that there is legal precedent for news outlets to demonstrate “what all the fuss is about” with images they don’t technically own. The judge also ruled that HuffPost’s deployment of the “Image Loading...” text box was transformative enough to keep it well within the boundaries of copyright law. Judge Abrams wrote in her decision: “The photograph was used to illustrate what all the fuss is about, namely Hamm’s ‘privates’ and the public’s fixation with them.”
It’s nice, for some fleeting moment, to be transported back to a time on the internet when a pressing concern was whether or not it was gauche to discuss Jon Hamm’s dick. (This extends to Justin Theroux’s proclivity for sweatpants as well.) Thanks for the memories, Mr. Paparazzi Man!