A picture of Jon Hamm’s nether regions was the subject of a trial this week, even though the “Mad Man” actor had nothing to do with the lawsuit.
The photo in question was taken in 2012 by photographer Lawrence Schwartzwald who sued Huffington Post for using the picture without purchasing the rights.
In the photo, Hamm’s bulge is clearly visible through his pants.
When Huffington posted the picture, a black box with the words “Image Loading” was placed on his crotch.
Judge Ronnie Abrams ruled that the publication didn’t break the copyright law because it was a transformative use of the picture.
According to Page Six, Abrams wrote in the ruling, “Here too, the photograph was used to illustrate what all the fuss is about, namely Hamm’s ‘privates’ and the public’s fixation with them.”
He also included part of the article that “reinforces the Court’s conclusion that the article aims to mock the public fixation on Hamm’s ‘privates’ in addition to mocking Hamm himself.”
Hamm has spoken about the viral pictures a number of times, including to Men’s Fitness in 2014, saying, “Would you want people walking up to you and pointing at your d**k? I can’t believe I’m still talking about this. But I’ve worn underwear every day of my life and the fact that I’m painted as this exhibitionist is a little annoying.”
Adding, “It’s become a meme, I guess. Being someone who people want to photograph, you have to open yourself up to the positive and negative. It is what it is. If I get mad at it I’ll look like a douchebag. But it’s silly.”