How fitting, that in 1983, when Helmut Newton printed 75 copies of an exclusive burlesque/celebrity photo suite, he named the thing “Private Property Collection.”
The title packs a punch in an L.A. lawsuit filed yesterday by June Browne Newton. The photographer's Australian widow is apparently alive and kickin' at the ripe age of 88 — enough to sue three art dealers who have been sleezing the artist's work around via typo-ridden eBay auctions [Courthouse News Service].
Here are a couple of the photos (don't sue us, pretty please), which June claims fall under the Copyright Act of 1976:
The lawsuit claims Newton enlisted the Los Angeles dealers to help publicize the work back in the '80s, but that the agreement has since expired, and Norman Solomon, Art & Artifact and Celebrity Vault no longer have the right to handle the black-and-white classics.
To add insult to copyright infringement, the eBay posts are trashy, glam and poorly written. One example, reprinted in the legal documents:
Newton died at 84 in the driveway of his West Hollywood hotel residence in 1994 — the celeb-heavy Chateau Marmont, on Sunset Boulevard — when he lost control of his vehicle, possibly due to a heart attack. All rights to his controversial legacy of nudes and portraits went to June.