26.7.05

Diaz snapper found guilty

John Rutter, who tried to coerce Cameron Diaz into paying him millions of dollars to prevent topless shots of her being sold, has been found guilty of extortion. The jury in Los Angeles were less than convinced by his testimony last week and decided he had forged Diaz's signature on release forms and then lied about this before trying to get money out of the Charlie's Angel star.

Having been found guilty of theft, forgery and perjury he now faces up to six years in the slammer.

What's interesting about this case is that stars on the other side of the pond are not using invasion of privacy to stop such pictures being sold but are seeking redress in the criminal courts, seeing the taking and attempted sale of such pictures as theft of their image and/or attempt to steal money from them by demanding they pay to prevent them being printed.

If this trend gathers momentum, it could well be something that gets tested in the UK courts. Image rights can be deemed personal property and as such not only protected by copyright and data protection laws but their misappropriation could also be treated as theft.

The days of the snappers' sting could be numbered.

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