A McMechen man whose mugshot won a measure of Internet fame is planning to sue companies he says are profiting from the image. Patrick Tribett was arrested in Bellaire, Ohio, in 2005. Police say he had been huffing the fumes from gold spraypaint, and the lower half of his face was golden in his mugshot.

New Martinsville lawyer H. John Rogers says the image has appeared on T-shirts, coffee mugs and even a billboard in Europe. Rogers says he’s preparing lawsuits against four companies for using Tribett’s image for financial gain.

Chuckle. Why would you need to photoshop this clown?

  1. Marion says:

    This issue falls under rights granted people under the constitution regarding privacy. These geektrapraneurs don’t seem to realize you can’t just go around doing whatever the fuck you want with other people’s images regardless if it appears as a public record, it is not an image that anyone can use for any reason. The law limits it’s use. He will win this case with flying colors probably making him a millionaire.

  2. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    #1 Morian – Police mug shots fall in the category of public domain.

  3. Phydeau says:

    I don’t think this is photoshopped — he really did have gold paint on his face.

  4. McCullough says:

    #3. This one is not, you can Google his name for others.

  5. ECA says:

    true, but NOT TO MAKE A PROFIT. that is the RULE.
    i can take your picture but I can NOT make money on it, WITHOUT your consent.

  6. Jupiter says:

    The poor guy deserves some cash for all his Fark fame, although he could probably find better ways to profit than suing.

  7. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    #5 – who sez?

  8. Nobody says:

    #5 – only under very specific circumstances where your image has professional role.
    I can’t poke a camera over a fence at a Sports illustrated shoot and sell my own swimwear calender.
    But I can take a picture of you in a public place and sell the images.

    This is a published document produced by the government, assuming the presence of idiots in West Virginia is not a matter of national security – I can do what I want with it.
    I can also do what I want under various reportage rules, since the guy was charged with a crime. And finally I have very strong p residence for a parody.

  9. JeffL says:

    Clearly another tragic victim of Brian Williams Chin Misalignment Syndrome.

  10. ECA says:

    Copyright LAW, DMCA, and federal law.

    Under REPORTING and NEWS worthy, yes..

  11. sargasso says:

    The guy is a modern cultural icon. This could be his only contribution to the egregious urban culture of this age. He is a living Warhol masterpiece. He should have his own blog, Twitter followers, Facebook page and PR agent. He should be selling this, instead of trying to hide it.

  12. stopher2475 says:

    Not that I care to try it but I didn’t know paint was a controlled substance.

  13. clancys_daddy says:

    I think he was arrested for public intoxication. In some instances using a product for something other than its intended use is illegal. So sniffing the paint to get high would be illegal, while getting high on the fumes while painting would not. When dealing with the law don’t ask for common sense, trust me as my second career I work for a state regulatory agency. Never inject intelligence into a situation where a bureaucrat is involved. Its like pounding your head into a wall (not its intended use by the way) of course on the other hand I am starting to enjoy the squishy feeling.

    “may have been on the losing side still not convinced it was the wrong side”

  14. Krylon Paint says:

    The West Virginia lawyer:


  15. Matto says:

    Copyright laws apply to the photographer, not the subject of the photograph. Satire is satire, it doesn’t make any difference if you make money from it.

  16. KMFIX says:

    I wonder how much paint he’ll buy if he wins?

  17. Professor Johnnycakes says:

    I’ve been to Bellaire Ohio… looks like there’s something to do there after all.

  18. teh huffington poster says:

    Pat be nimble , Pat be quick , Pat sucked off the candlestick.

  19. deowll says:

    This guy is still alive and his brain works? I’m shocked!

  20. chris says:

    He looks like Titus Pullo from HBO’s “Rome”!

    If he had aimed a bit higher he could have been been in the remake of “Golden Eye.”

  21. Ralph, the Bus Driver says:


    Copyright law applies to the owner of the work. If you create something, you own it. Since you created your own identifiable features, you own your own likeness.

    If I am in public you may photograph me, but you may not profit off of that photograph. The exception is when the photograph is used for a news story. Thus, celebrities have less control over their likeness than ordinary people.

    In this case the police may release the “mug shot”. News outlets may reprint that picture, without permission, whenever they run an article about this man or a similar subject that he was arrested for. This is part of fair use.

    Those seeking commercial gain, such as printing his face on T-shirts, need his permission as that is profiting from his likeness. This would be a copyright violation.

    While satire can be a profitable fair use, this is not satire. Satire may not use the same image, it must create its own image.

  22. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    #10 eCa – dOeS NoT fAlL iNtO aNy Of ThEsE.

  23. Gore-acle says:

    progressive who has run out of weed money

  24. ECA says:

    NO ONE has the right to profit OFF of your likeness..
    the Key word is PROFIT.
    You can not profit off of a Public display.
    Thats how an advertiser can use Background people, FREE. its not for PROFIT, is the thinking.
    If something has been released to the Public domain, it can be published, BUT not for profit.
    You cant REPRODUCE something from a news paper, on a SHIRT, for PROFIT. ask the AP.

    read #21. he is right, and so am I.

  25. Dallas says:

    Gosh, even Republican Tom Delay doesn’t wear that much glitter to a dance contest.

  26. Rick Cain says:

    Every time I see his picture I laugh. Here’s to you Tribett.


Bad Behavior has blocked 8815 access attempts in the last 7 days.