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Colton Haynes, Porn and MTV's TEEN WOLF

I got an interesting letter in the email yesterday from someone who claims to be a Bryan J. Freedman, an attorney who says he represents upcoming actor Colton Haynes, late of THE GATES TV series and currently of MTV’s new TEEN WOLF scripted, which debuts this weekend. What was interesting — and concerning — was that the letter said that doorQ.com had posted private, pornographic pictures of Mr. Haynes!

The letter said:

I am contacting you regarding [doorQ.com's]…postings of multiple private, obscene, lewd and pornographic photographs of my client, privately taken…depicting my client… partially or possibly completely nude, engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, in most instances with other individuals.

Ack, right? The letter went on to say that:

…the photographs depict my client partially or possibly fully nude in a Jacuzzi engaging in sexual content with another individual. the Site’s publication of what are clearly private photographs depicting sexual conduct, violate Haynes’ right to privacy…. Your public disclosure of these private photographs violate Hayne’s privacy rights as such conduct qualifies as a (1) public disclosure (2) of a private fact (3) which would be of offensive and objectionable to the reasonable person. While we can only speculate as to where you received these private photographs from, rest assured that you posted them without Haynes’ consent or knowledge…

Color me astonished that I’d grabbed private pictures of Colton Haynes engaging in sexual conduct with another guy from an Internet / Google link! I didn’t know that any private pics of Mr. Haynes engaging in sex with another guy were out there on the web! And, while I’m sure that someone who had private, pornographic pics of Colton Haynes with another guy might have run over to TMZ or The Smoking Gun  to sell such private pictures of Mr. Haynes having sex with another guy to them, I wouldn’t. I took them down! We don’t do porn here at doorQ.com.

What really puzzled me was that I could have sworn I’d seen photos similar to the ones that attorney Bryan J. Freedman said were private pictures of Colton Haynes having sex with another guy, but that these ones were published many years ago, as a non-pornographic, photo-essay in the (now-defunct-but-then) popular and very public, nationwide magazine for gay youth, XY Magazine. I’d need to find back issues,though, to clear that nagging feeling up…

And wouldn’t you know it, I did.

In March of 2006, XY Magazine published a photo essay titled “Dont Mess With Texas” in the “Shocking” issue. Some of the pages of that issue are reproduced below. It’s not the full magazine, but under First Amendment protections of Fair Use, it is enough to see that the physical magazine existed, what kinds of articles it ran (news! editorials! lifestyle pieces! photo-essays!) and that it did have the photos — and cover! — that I remembered.

The multi-part essay depicted a young Mr. Haynes… well, a “Colton” according the mag… in non-pornographic, fun and, perhaps, even cheeky exploration of the idea of being “Shocking.” But that’s about it. XY wasn’t a porn magazine, after all. Nationally distributed, sure. Well known? Of course! But porno? Please.

As you can see, these pictures, while showing Mr. Haynes goofing off –  even kissing –  another guy, are no more risque than your average Abercrombie & Fitch advert, network TV commercial or MTV series….except, well, that they’re gay.

Come to think of it, they aren’t any more risque than scenes from the feature film I just produced, JUDAS KISS, staring Charlie David, Sean Paul Lockhart/Brent Corrigan, Timo Descamps and Richard Harmon, playing in film-festivals near you this summer and out on DVD and VOD this fall! (DVD Pre-orders now available through this Wolf Video link!)

But I digress.

Attorney or not, I’m glad the guy who wrote the letter under the name of Mr. Freedman was looking out for Colton Haynes, making sure that private, pornographic pictures of Mr. Haynes would disappear from the web. That’s a valiant service. I’m sure MTV is also glad that this person was heading off bad publicityfor one of their new shows and not creating it. Well, that’s assuming that a)the letter writer is an attorney and  b)they spoke to the Viacom legal department. I can also imagine that non-pornographic and quite legal pics of Mr. Haynes are something everyone, attorney or not, can support, as they raise the young actor’s profile and endear him to a great many fans.

As to if the pic that I removed from doorQ.com actually is a  private, pornographic picture of Mr. Haynes bares any similarity to the perfectly legal, perfectly public, nationally and internationally distributed pics from the 2006 issue of XY Magazine, samples of which are embedded above,  that’s up to a reader to decide.  I took down what someone purporting to be Mr. Freedman said was such and image and have replaced them with perfectly legal ones.

One more interesting thing. The letter that I received from someone purporting to be Mr. Freedman and which concerned the matter of private, pornographic pictures of Colton Haynes (since removed from doorQ.com), contained this strange paragraph which said, in part:

This letter is a confidential legal communication and is not for publication. Any publication, dissemination or broadcast of any portion of this letter will constitute a breach of such confidence and violation of the Copyright Act, and you are not authorized to publish this letter in whole or in part.

Really odd statement, no? It’s why I keep thinking that the letter isn’t from an attorney, as basic First Amendment protections and Fair Use precedents are pretty standard things private citizens, journalists and writers freely enjoy. Sure, from time to time we may have to remember they are there, but it’s great to know they are there when you need them. I’d hate to think that bullies could get away with scaring people into submission with a few strokes of a pen.

Anyway, I guess that should bring to this matter of regarding private, pornographic pictures of Colton Haynes kissing another guy and not public, perfectly legal pictures of Colton Haynes modeling and having fun in a photo spread, to a close. Right?

Oh, and remember: Pre-order your JUDAS KISS DVD through this Wolf Video link!

16 Comments

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  1. Zack says
    June 2, 2011, 5:43 pm

    A legit attorney would send you that letter in the mail with a return receipt so they could show proper service. That kind of letter would not have been sent via an email.

    its most likely Colton not wanting to pull another Dustin Zito incident

    Reply
  2. Josh in OR says
    June 2, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Either this lawyer didn’t do his research before threatening people, or he’s not really a lawyer and is instead, an agent or rep of Mr. Haynes trying to intimidate people into submission. I bought that issue when it was on the stands, and there’s nothing pornographic OR private about the shoot. Don’t fall for the BS routine, because we all know there’s no case here that would stand up in any court of law.

    Reply
  3. Michel Grasley says
    June 2, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Dude, you got linked to Towelroad.com about this. Be prepared for madness.

    Something you might want to point out to this Mr. Freedman is, once it’s on the web, it’s there forever and trying to get it stopped is impossible. Period. End of story.

    Obviously the man’s a fool.

    Reply
  4. June 3, 2011, 3:49 am

    Michael, when the site crashed this afternoon, I realized I’d been Towled!

    Josh, I had the issue from then as well. That’s where the pics came from. It’s why I rolled my eyes at the notion the pics were “private.”

    Zack, that was another in those endlessly odd things at work in all of this.

    Reply
  5. jay says
    June 3, 2011, 5:41 am

    I had a similar thing happen to me , last week . I had a notice from blogger about a copyright claim over those very pictures of Colton which I included on my blog in a post about the gates . I assumed they pictures were okay to use as they were part of the XY magazine shoot .

    Anyway I’m now going to have a read of your site as its just the sort of site I think I’ll enjoy .

    Reply
  6. Chris says
    June 3, 2011, 9:48 am

    Wow, the auction price for this edition of XY is going to skyrocket ! If this man is honestly representing Colton then he should be a publicist instead of a lawyer because he has managed to get Haynes name more widely distributed than MTV. Regardless of Colton’s sexuality he’s going to be under the microscope now for certain. There are those out there who are going to take it as a personal mission to determine and expose Colton’s sexuality regardless of what it is. And they say there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    Reply
  7. Mike in Asheville says
    June 3, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I am not an attorney. I have, however, during my business career, spent well over $1 million with copyright and trademark attorneys both prosecuting/defending my ownership rights and defending me against claims of copyright/trademark infringement.]

    Yes indeed Fair Use and Public Domain issues abound with this story. And the letter from someone claiming to be an attorney is quite fishy. What is blaring from the letter is the attorney’s utter failure to make any claim of ownership of the photographs — for only the owner (or designated agent or assignee) can make demands over the use/display of their property.

    Unless otherwise conveyed under an artistic license agreement, the owner of the photographs is the photographer. Even major companies and media, more times than not, the entity paying for the models, the setup, the stage, and the photographer, such as A&F and GAP, do not own the images — Bruce Webber, the photographer does.

    There are many cases where the artistic license agreement conveys ownership of the photography from the photographer to the producer (ie., the guys paying the bills).

    In the letter from the claimed attorney though, he makes no mention as to who owns the photographs in question: the beneficiaries of the estate of XY Magazine, the photographer, other claimant. Further, my impression of XY Magazine was that many of the photographs published were freely given to the magazine by their enthusiastic readers. Should that be the case, then the pictures are in the public domain free to be used by anyone and everyone.

    *************

    Sure is a cutie!

    Reply
  8. Volker says
    June 3, 2011, 10:36 pm

    If someone didn’t want their photo(or photos) published in the first place, pornographic or not (I wouldn’t call these pornographic by any means, which is stretching it), they shouldn’t have been published in the first place. And, yes, if it was a true concern, the letter would have been sent via mail and properly documented!
    ~ Volker

    Reply
  9. DuncanKi says
    June 5, 2011, 7:35 am

    The fair use doctrine has nothing to do with the First Amendment. It’s simply a rule in US copyright law. Let’s not confuse people anymore than they already are about the First Amendment.

    Reply
  10. June 5, 2011, 1:54 pm

    hey i commented on this yesterday but my comment does not seem to have been posted
    i have noticed other sites have had these removed too and this is not the first time this has happened with pictures another blogger called Bilikeme was also asked ages ago to remove some pictures in a similar way to the way you have been asked although maybe not quite as severly worded.
    People seem to be doing this to try and hide questions about their sexuality or maybe in fact it is fans that are doing it trying to protect their idols private lives?

    Reply
  11. June 5, 2011, 1:56 pm

    just noticed my comment on this post was for someone put on the newer post lol

    Reply
  12. tom says
    July 1, 2011, 7:49 am

    Surely the main point is that these lawyers are incredibly stupid as well as ignorant? The message they sent out says that Colton engaged in underage gay porn and trying to hide the pictures that prove he didn’t!!!

    How is it ‘better’ to be linked to gay porn rather than an innocuous gay kiss photoshoot?

    It’s so unbelievable it does make one wonder if it is a publicity stunt

    Reply
  13. Vera says
    July 9, 2011, 7:19 pm

    Blogger pulled these very pictures down from my blog last week and sent me a notice that a DMCA complaint had been lodged against me, without indicating who had lodged the complaint. I am now very pissed off. I will be linking to this site very soon. Thanks for the info.

    Reply
  14. July 9, 2011, 8:40 pm

    Glad you are pissed, Vera. What’s really pissed me off is that the photographer is now issuing DMCA take-down notices to news sites that are covering this story. That’s as wrong as what the attorney did.

    Reply
  15. Michael says
    November 13, 2011, 12:25 pm

    I used to talk to that boy he is kissing back in the day on Myspace…I always wondered what ever happened with him? :-)

    Reply
  16. Mike says
    June 13, 2013, 2:50 am

    Ahaha… that was fun to read. I never understood this “private” thing either…

    Reply

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