Feb 27, 2008

Fight for Freedom

A great photographer is fighting an incredible lawsuit for the freedom of his art. He is a fetish artist, and it's not that he's fighting for the right to display his works, or against obscenity laws. He's fighting for the right to take and freely display images of his girlfriend.

The photographer, Lithium Picnic creates amazing works of many women, but the issue is his use of pictures for his girlfriend Apnea's single-girl site. Lithium Picnic was by contract restricted from taking pictures for 'competitors', but Suicide Girls features multiple girls with daily updates. Apnea has weekly updates of just one girl, not really competition. Nonetheless he's being sued for $100,000. Apnea can give you more details below, but if you want to help the fight and support creative freedoms please consider using the tool below to lend a hand, they could really use it.

From ApneaticMedia Reposted with permision.
I know it's been a while since I've had time to make a state of the LP union address, but I want everyone to know how much we appreciate the emails and continued support and let you know what's going on. The fight is far from over, in fact it is just getting started. The recent ruling in California on the SG model contracts is a huge win but it doesn't have much effect on Philip's Oregon case. We've endured harassment from the owners and attorneys of SuicideGirls for almost two years, the trial finally starts next month in Portland.

Without the help of friends and supporters there's no way we could have come this far. To put things in perspective Philip's bills from attorneys and expenses related to the case were over $7,000 this month alone. The continued sales from prints and shirts have helped so much. We are committed to fighting this to the very end no matter how much it costs. We're posting auctions and new items for sale this week check back soon.

So here's an update on what's been going on in our world:

About two months ago Philip and I traveled to Oregon again at our own expense to endure two days of depositions from SG's attorney, Paul Loving. What that means is we got to sit in a room and get interrogated for two full days at an expense of about $5,000. One day for Philip and one day for me while Paul Loving asked us ridiculous questions like whether or not I thought I was more famous than Jenna Jameson. We were under oath and had to truthfully answer every question asked, from information on my website income to questions about Godsgirls and DeviantNation, whose phone numbers did we know and who on the SG staff has shown any sympathy for our cause. It was a clearly a witch hunt.

The good news is Sean and Missy get their turns at the deposition table this month, though I've heard through the grapevine that Sean can be very forgetful and creative when it comes to legal questioning.

Considering the amount of high profile press inquiries we've received I've stayed relatively quiet through all of this, mostly because I thought it would just make matters worse. But I've recently come to some realizations about the situation. Up to this point we were very hopeful that a counter-suit would be successful or that we would be able to recoup our legal fees when we win.

But we've given up almost all hope of this happening now, SG's lawyers are very skilled at arbitration and you can't just sue someone for suing you. Damages are extremely hard to prove and if they can make a case to show they think they had a reasonable basis for their claims it is very unlikely we'll see a cent returned even if we win. And if we do win SG will likely appeal the decision (even though they promised an apology to Philip if a judge found him in the right) and this appeal will probably drag it out for another year. This was a very depressing and sobering realization.

So why don't we give up and make a deal? Because we believe in karma and that we will prevail. Material things come and go and can be replaced. Maybe we're here in this train wreck for some larger reason. We've turned down their shitty deals before and we're not going to settle now. Maybe if we blow this up big enough and make the world aware of everything that's happening there may be a positive outcome in the end. Please help me spread the word.

We just wanted to be left alone. I've wanted to be done with the site and put it behind me for years but Sean and SG keep haunting me and confronting us and dragging me back into confrontation with them. I didn't want to go to Oregon and waste a week of my life being interrogated but SG dragged me there. I didn't want to get involved in the Godsgirls lawsuit but now SG is trying to drag Philip and I into that to question as witnesses.

Well I'm tired of being harassed and we're at the point where we have very little to lose and everything to gain by blowing this up, so congratulations Sean, I'm calling you out as the one pulling all the strings. SG Services Inc is you it's not "the suicidegirls" you're the one with a grudge and you're the one suing Philip.

...and you're the one that is going to be amazed at how much impact one little girl can make by just telling the truth.

Special Thanks to Philip for taking the time to let us use these images, maybe we'll get a chance to interview him for this site when the fight is over.

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