No one wants to get arrested. But if you are arrested, you might as well take an attractive mug shot. Heck, you might even make a few bucks from it.
Meagan Simmons of Zephyrhills, Fla., is better known as “attractive convict” in the Internet meme world. Her mug shot, taken in 2010 after a DUI arrest, has been accompanied by taglines including, “Crime only carries 3 to 5; judge gives her a perfect 10,” and, “Guilty of taking my breath away.”
While Simmons has embraced some of the fame, granting interviews to The Huffington Post
and the Daily Mail
, the mom is now suing the website InstantCheckmate.com for using her photo without compensation or consent. The site does background checks, and the ad has Simmons’ mug shot with the tagline “Sometimes, the cute ones aren’t so innocent.”
Simmons’ lawyer, Matthew Crist, told Tampa Bay Times
, “At the end of the day, this is actually about intellectual property. If someone is going to use your image, they need to pay you for it.”
InstantCheckmate.com hasn’t responded to the lawsuit, which is reportedly seeking financial damages and an injunction to prevent the photo’s further use.
How the case turns out is obviously up to a judge, but next time you’re considering using a photo that’s been widely distributed on the Internet in an ad, err on the side of caution.
(Image via Hillsborough County)