Williams-Sonoma Sued Over Julia Child Image

The Julia Child foundation has filed a lawsuit against the home goods store
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The Julia Child Foundation says Williams-Sonoma used Child's name and image without permission.

Here's some not very good news for culinary retail company Williams-Sonoma: the Julia Child Foundation has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Williams-Sonoma, claiming the chain has been illegally using the chef's name and picture.

The nonprofit organization, which is supposed to "safeguard" Julia Child's name and legacy, claims that Williams-Sonoma has used Child's name and photo multiple times in online ads, the Los Angeles Times reports. In total, the chain used Child more than 100 times in email, on the website, and on social media, all sans permission. It's even worse since Child never participated in product endorsements, Julia Child foundation spokesman Todd Schulkin said. "As almost any Julia fan can tell you... this was the policy during [Child's] lifetime."

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Naturally, the foundation is asking Williams-Sonoma to remove Child's images, in addition to seeking damages. The LA Times reports that the organization is still calculating how many images of Child were used, and the value of that usage. "Given the value of today's food celebrities, the value will be in the millions of dollars," foundation lawyer Jeffrey Abrams told the LA Times. Let's not forget the foundation is also in a legal tiff with Thermador, with a case involving the ad agency that worked for Thermador going on trial Nov. 1.