Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia

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Nussenzweig v. diCorcia is a decision by the New York Supreme Court in New York County, holding that a photographer could display, publish, and sell street photography without the consent of the subjects of those photographs.[1]

Persons involved in lawsuit[edit]

Erno Nussenzweig[edit]

Erno Nussenzweig (born 1922) is a retired diamond merchant from Union City, New Jersey. Nussenzweig was represented in this lawsuit by attorney Jay Goldberg.[2][1]

Philip-Lorca diCorcia[edit]

Philip-Lorca diCorcia (born 1953) is an artist and photographer who shows with the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York City. DiCorcia was represented in this lawsuit by Lawrence Barth of the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles, California.[2][1]


The photograph was taken by diCorcia in Times Square in Manhattan. The images were exhibited at the Pace/MacGill Gallery from September 6, 2001 through October 13, 2001. They were then published in a book titled Heads by Pace/MacGill.[3] DiCorcia created ten limited edition prints of each photograph in the book and they were sold for US$20,000–30,000 each.[2]


In 2005, Nussenzweig learned of the photograph and filed a lawsuit, claiming that diCorcia and Pace/MacGill had violated his privacy rights under Sections 50 and 51 of New York's Civil Rights Law and that, as a Klausenburg Orthodox Jew, such a display would violate the Commandment in Torah against graven images. The New York law prohibits the use of a person's likeness, without consent, "for advertising or for purposes of trade." DiCorcia and Pace/MacGill argued that the photo represented "artistic expression", and was protected under the 1st Amendment and that the statute of limitations had expired for bringing a lawsuit. On February 8, 2006 the court ruled in favor of diCorcia and Pace/MacGill Gallery and dismissed the lawsuit on both counts. In March 2007[4] the decision was upheld by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. In November of 2007[5] the New York Court of Appeals upheld all previous decisions based on the statute of limitations and "artistic expression".[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia (February 2006)". New York Supreme Court. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  2. ^ a b c Gefter, Philip (March 16, 2006). "The Theater of the Street, the Subject of the Photograph". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  3. ^ DiCorcia, Philip-Lorca (2001). Heads. Göttingen: Steidl. ISBN 3-88243-441-4. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  4. ^ "Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia (March 2007)". New York Supreme Court. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  5. ^ "Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia (November 2007)". New York Supreme Court. Retrieved 2015-08-04.