One man’s “pièce de résistance” is another man’s infringed copyright, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in St. Louis.
St. Louis photographer Michael Eastman claims that an interior designer starring on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators” went overboard when he featured a picture taken by Eastman as a mural in television hostess Daisy Fuentes’ home. The photo, taken in Havana, Cuba, shows two armchairs under a chandelier in a dilapidated ballroom.
According to the lawsuit:
Designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard wrote Eastman in January about using the picture — “Isabella’s Two Chairs 1999” — on the show. Eastman agreed to let Bullard use the picture, but claimed Bullard gave the impression that he would use only a smaller black-and-white version of the limited edition photograph. Bullard also said he would give Eastman credit on the show. However, a color version of the photo was enlarged at a Warner Bros. facility and installed as the “pièce de résistance” of the redecoration of Fuentes’ home. Eastman never was mentioned on the show.
Bullard was returning from a trip to London. Neither he nor press contacts at NBCUniversal, Bravo’s parent company, could immediately be reached for comment. An email to a Warner Bros. spokesman wasn’t immediately returned.
Michael Kahn and Geoff Gerber, of The BrickHouse Law Group in St. Louis, represent Eastman.
The case is Michael Eastman and Michael Eastman Images Inc. v. NBCUniversal Media LLC; Bravo Media LLC, Goodbye Pictures Inc., Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Martyn Lawrence Bullard, 4:11-cv-01296.