American Idol host and professional dick Simon Cowell is known for being a cad, and that apparently reaches to the blogosphere.
One of our writers ran a quick post yesterday highlighting the fact that Simon Cowell has hairy man boobs. A touch in jest naturally, and the image was widely featured on celeb blogs.
Then we, and presuming the other sites received a legal threat from Cowell’s lawyers claiming among other things that running the photo breaches Cowell’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The lawyers are American, but apparently they’re incapable of filing a compliant DMCA request. We’ve removed the photo: at the end of the day it’s not worth a fight over, but ironically it took about 2 seconds to find a similar 12 month old shot that wasn’t mentioned in their email.
Here’s what a letter from a Grade A blog bully looks like. As of now we won’t be offering Cowell anything other that negative coverage in the future.
LAVELY & SINGER
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
2049 Century Park East, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, California 90067-2906
Telephone: (310) 556-3501
Facsimile: (310) 556-3615
December 20, 2008
c/o NameCheap – registrar
Media Temple, Inc. [Host Server]
8520 National Blvd., Building A
Culver City, CA 90232
Re: Simon Cowell / Privacy & Rt of Publicity Violations
Our File No.: 3691-5
We are litigation counsel for Simon Cowell. This letter is written to you because you and your company (“you”) have posted a number of unlawfully obtained photos of Simon Cowell on your website at the url/domain (your “website”). The photos were taken of Mr. Cowell unlawfully while he was on a private balcony on private property at a residence in Barbados (the “Photos”). Take Note: the photo agency originally responsible for the dissemination of the Photos has removed them from its website and ceased licensing or disseminating them, and recalled them from any licensing client, having recognized the unlawful and tortious nature of the Photos and substantial liability for their post and publication. You would be well-advised to immediately do the same, or you face being named in anticipated litigation.
The unlawfully obtained Photos appear in connection with a post which is featured on your Website at the following url’s and that have the following property designations:
First, your website mistakenly identifies Mr. Cowell as being in a hotel. He was not in a hotel at the time of the photographs. Rather, he was in a private residence. Second, you are doubtlessly aware that the Photos of Mr. Cowell were taken by a photographer who surreptitiously trespassed onto private property in order to capture the images. The taking of the Photos as well as there apparent subsequent publication on your Website, and any other online outlets, and wide spread dissemination and publication constitute an egregious violation of Mr. Cowell’s substantial rights of privacy, including specifically under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights as incorporated into the U.K. Human Rights Act of 1988, as well as under the U.K. Data Protection Act of 1988. See also, Campbell v. Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd., 2004 WL 852s411 (HL 2004); Douglass v. Hello! Ltd.,  Q.B. 967,  F.S.R. 40, later proceedings,  153 N.L.J. 595, 2003 WL 1822887].
Demand is made that you immediately and permanently remove the Photos of Mr. Cowell from your websites and cease and desist from any attempts to disclose or disseminate the Photos and confirm to me in writing your agreement to do so without delay. Demand is further made that you return all of the originals and any copies of the Photos (whether print or electronic) in your company’s possession to our office or, alternatively, confirm in writing that they have been destroyed.
As you may be aware, Mr. Cowell is extremely vigilant in protecting his privacy and other rights and will not hesitate to employ all of his rights and remedies, including calling on the powers of the U.S. and U.K. Courts, and any other jurisdiction as applicable, in order to protect and seek vindication of his legal rights. This matter will be no exception. In the absence of your immediate agreement to stop posting, displaying or disseminating the Photos, further legal action will be commenced against you and your Website’s owners and operators.
We reserve our client’s rights to recover monetary damages compensating him for the harm which has already resulted from the wrongful exploitation of his privacy rights.
Please govern yourself accordingly.
This letter does not purport to constitute a complete or exhaustive statement of all of our clients’ rights, contentions or legal theories. Nothing contained herein is intended as, nor should it be deemed to constitute, a waiver or relinquishment of any of our clients’ rights or remedies, whether legal or equitable, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.
This is a confidential legal notice and is not for publication.
Very Truly Yours,
EVAN N. SPIEGEL
LAVELY & SINGER
cc: Mr. Simon Cowell
Nigel Tait, Esq.
Martin D. Singer, Esq.
William J. Briggs, II
© Lavely & Singer, P.C. 2008