January 26, 2024Published Article

Laura Lamansky Quoted in Wisconsin Law Journal's article, "Suing over Facebook comments: Is Wisconsin next?".

Wisconsin Law Journal

The Feds got Al Capone in a similar fashion, and they may have just nabbed another Chicago man for similarly alleged criminal tax activity.

The man who is suing 27 women saying false and damaging negative dating reviews posted about him on Facebook damaged his reputation. Nikko D’Ambrosio was just convicted for tax fraud in the same federal courthouse he is suing dozens of women for defamation.

The criminal case says D’Ambrosio underreported income he “earned” while distributing “sweepstakes” gaming machines for a company with ties to Chicago mob figures.


“You really have to weigh multiple factors,” said Laura Lamansky, an attorney with Michael Best in Milwaukee who specializes in copyright law.

Attorney Heidi R. Thole who specializes in copyright law is a shareholder at Reinhart.

According to Thole, “As an induvial in Wisconsin you have a right to be left alone, but that can go out the window when you post photos to dating app.”

According to Thole, ‘Fair Use’ is taken by courts on a case-to-case basis, but when money gets involved such as the Gofundme that defendants have setup, that can weigh against or negates the defense.

According to legal experts, a misappropriation of image could be claimed, since a been a for-profit angle was established as the defendants have setup the Gofundme page.

“There is some unpredictability even if you think you have a decent fair use claim,” Thole said.

Lamansky added, “It’s important to note that fair use is a not a positive right to use someone’s copyrighted work.”

There are some disadvantages to using a ‘fair use’ defense, according to Thole.

“While it can be a powerful tool, you are almost starting on backfoot because it’s already a defense to an infringement,” Thole said.

According to both Thole and Lamansky, in some cases, the terms of service of the dating app dictate whether or not a plaintiff has an actionable copyright infringement claim.

“Most users of dating apps don’t read the fine print when uploading their images,” Lamansky said, noting that “many people unknowingly give up some of their rights.”

Lamansky and Thole both noted that each dating app or website has its own contract with users for how images may be used on or off the respective platform.

“At this point it becomes not a matter of copyright law, but a matter of contract law,” Lamansky said.

The attorney would need to review the terms of service with the respective dating app to determine if a breach of the contract occurred, and therefore copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement is not really at issue in the Illinois case, Lamansky said.

“It seems the real heart of the issue is emotional distress and reputational harm. Copyright law doesn’t get to the issue. If a photograph was found to be in violation of copyright law, the remedy would be to remove the posted photograph. However, that would not address the reputational harm that has already occurred,” Lamansky added.

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