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Mr. Coffee Gets His Mug Money


THIS COFFEE "MUG" WORTH $15.6 MILLION TO ITS OWNER

SAN FRANCISCO -- When it comes to coffee, Russell Christoff is more of a fresh-brewed than a freeze-dried kind of guy. So he never scrutinized the Taster’s Choice label.

When he finally did, he was staring back at himself.

While shopping for Bloody Mary mix at a drug store in 2002, the former actor and model saw a younger version of himself, the one who had once posed for the freeze-dried coffee brand.

After two decades as a struggling performer, Christoff says he had all but forgotten the 1986 photo shoot where he spent two hours posing as "The Taster" in a red sweater. He received $250 for the job - with the understanding that he would be paid $2,000 more if his image was selected to promote Taster’s Choice in Canada.

He figured the job hadn’t amounted to a hill of beans - until he stumbled across his likeness in the drug store 16 years later...

Last week, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ordered Nestle USA to pay Christoff $15.6 million for using his photograph without his permission and profiting from it...

..."Our image is our product, whether it’s our face or our talent, and they took it improperly," he said. Christoff is now in his second year as a kindergarten teacher in the Bay Area community of Antioch. With the case likely tied up in a protracted appeal, he said he doesn’t plan to give up his day job anytime soon.

Isn’t it amazing to see what ends up in court these days? I know that I could never sue anyone for improper use of my facial image! My "mug" shot isn’t very valuable to anyone other than my wife and mother. Of course it’s invaluable when needing ID. But here’s a question to think about...

IF GOD HAD A LAWYER, WOULD HE SUE YOU FOR IMPROPER USE OF HIS IMAGE?

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