In 1991, famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz photographed actress Demi
Moore, naked and pregnant, for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. This
became one of the hottest selling issues in Vanity Fair history.
In 1993, Paramount Pictures instituted an advertising campaign for a movie
called "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult."
The advertisement for "The Final Insult" had Leslie Neilsen's face superimposed
on the body of a naked and pregnant woman. The lighting, pose, and
background are similar to the Leibovitz photograph of Demi Moore.
The ad was further digitally manipulated to replicate the body
configuration and skin tone of the original Leibovitz photograph.
This ad ran in the national media, including Vanity Fair, and Leibovitz was
sufficiently insulted to file suit against Paramount alleging copyright
infringement. Paramount conceded that the Naked Gun ad targeted the
Leibovitz photograph, but claimed that the ad was a parody and a fair use of
Paramount claimed that the ad was linked to the themes of marriage and
childbearing that are central to the movie's plot (as opposed to the theme of a
mad bomber blowing up the Academy Awards ceremony).
This photograph of Demi Moore appeared on the August, 1991
issue of Vanity Fair.
According to the court, this image of Demi Moore controversially displaying the
majesty of child bearing womanhood is a serious comment on a woman's
fulfillment in her pregnancy and has in fact become a cultural icon.
The court went through the elements of Fair Use and found that the Paramount ad
was a legally allowable parody.
The court looked at how closely the ad copied the original and determined that
although the ad drew heavily on the Leibovitz work, it was actually a
photograph of a different naked eight-month pregnant woman.
The court also looked at the potential market harm caused by the Paramount ad
and determined that there was no adverse effect on the sale or licensing of the
Liebovitz photograph after the publication of the Paramount ad.