Controlling the Use of Your Image or Likeness
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It is possible to control the use of your own image (that is, pictures or other representations of you). This has become an increasingly important issue with the use of the internet. For example, if a picture is taken of you, you can stop it from being posted on an internet website.
Three Grounds for Stopping the Use of Your Likeness
There are three possible ways to stop your image from being used by a website:
- Invasion of Privacy - if the website posts a false of highly offensive portrayal of your image, there may be an invasion of your privacy. Also, an invasion of privacy may occur if the picture was taken by some means of intrusion into a situation where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- Right of Publicity - if your image is used for commercial purposes, your right of publicity may be infringed. This right only applies in a commercial context and it must be that your image is used to sell products or your image is used in such a way at to imply that you endorse the product. Also, the public must be able to identify your image. This right extends beyond an individual's likeness and can include one's voice, performance style, and name. This right falls within the category of intellectual property.
- Defamation - if the image creates a false impression and injures your reputation, there may be a claim for defamation. A picture that is simply unflattering is not enough to make out a defamation case. Rather, the image must portray you in a false manner and cause people in the community to think less of you.
Someone Has Used a Picture of Me without My Permission, Do I Need a Lawyer?
There can be many complicated issues in determining whether you can stop someone from using your image or likeness. An experienced lawyer can held you determine if someone has invaded your privacy, infringed on your right of publicity, or defamed you. Also, the laws on these issues can vary from place to place. If you need to sue an individual to get them to stop using your image, a lawyer would have knowledge of the local laws and be familiar with the appropriate procedures.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 11-18-2010 12:47 PM PST
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