"Oh my," as Julia Child would say.
Julia Child fans across the globe were thrilled when her former French vacation home was put up on Airbnb. The Julia Child Foundation, however, was less than pleased. The charitable group filed a complaint on Tuesday saying the short-term rental company didn’t have permission to promote the home using Child’s name.
Basically the foundation took issue with how Airbnb used Julia Child's name when promoting a contest to stay in the Provence cottage. Airbnb evoked Child’s name in social media, on its website and in its email newsletters.
Apparently while she was alive Child had a policy of not officially endorsing much of anything. In addition, it was mentioned in the complaint that Child and her husband Paul never actually owned the cottage, and none of her cooking tools remained in the home.
So now the vacation rental company faces a lawsuit for violating California's law prohibiting misappropriating a person's right of publicity. The foundation is seeking unspecified compensation and other punitive damages.
Airbnb, for its part, has not commented on the lawsuit. It is, after all, one of many legal tussles the start-up is facing right now.