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They Were in for a Shocking Surprise When They Saw the Cover of This 'Soft-Core Porn' Book. And Now They're Taking Major Action.

"Less than tasteful."

A couple is suing the author of an erotic e-book as well as several popular online vendors over the claim that their engagement photo was used on a book cover without their permission.

Barnes & Noble

The lawsuit not only names Lacey Noonan, the pen name of the individual who wrote "A Gronking to Remember" — a book that the Daily Mail described as "soft-core porn" — but it also takes aim at Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble for selling the electronic text.

The complaint was filed in Ohio by two unnamed individuals — referred to in the lawsuit and John and Jane Roe — who claim that their image was placed on the cover without their consent, and that they were never compensated for its use.

"The cover of the book contains a photograph of the plaintiffs which was taken as part of their engagement journey leading toward their wedding," the complaint reads. "The photograph was appropriated by the defendants for commercial gain without the permission of the plaintiffs nor with the permission of any lawful copyright holder."

The couple believe that the book is "less than tasteful" and "offensive" and say that they have faced "ridicule and embarrassment" as a result of the use of their photo on the cover.

The "sex-filled" fiction book is about real-life New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and the lust a character named Leigh has for him.

"Now normally-sheepish Leigh can’t stop thinking about it. She’d never given a second thought to football, but now the primal power of the Gronk Spike, and this raw monster of a man, Rob Gronkowski, is all that she wants, and she’ll stop at nothing until the romance of a lifetime is hers!" the book's official description reads.

What is unclear at this juncture is how the photo came to be used by Noonan, who self-published the book, though it is possible that the couple uploaded it to the Internet. Even if that is the case, though, the plaintiffs argue that rights to the photo were never granted.

While the lawsuit might seem small in scope, the Hollywood Reporter noted that it could have big ramifications for Amazon, Apple and other companies that allow people to self-publish their books, as Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act will be at the center of the debate.

The 1996 law reads: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

The case could end up assessing whether a company like Amazon that allows self-publishing is actually a publisher that must take responsibility for the content that is coming out through its platform.

John and Jane Roe are seeking profits related to unauthorized use of the photo or $10,000, $25,000 in compensatory damages, court costs, legal fees and other expenses, the Boston Herald reported.

The cover image that is now showing up on vender pages for "A Gronking to Remember" features a different couple.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

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