Publicity Right: How to Protect and Why?

March 4, 2022

The concept of the right of publicity is fairly new, often neglected. For many years, achieving commercial benefits from personal appearances, reputation, nickname, voice, signature has become a big deal for sports stars, entertainers, celebrities, and other famous people. One of their big concerns is whether they can be protected.

Despite its often overlooked status, there are numerous litigations relating to the image rights of famous personalities.
In 2012 a complaint was made by Rihanna, the world-famous pop star, about the sale of fashion garments bearing her image. “Topshop” began to sell in its stores and through its website a fashion t-shirt displaying a clearly recognizable image of Rihanna. Rihanna's main allegation was that the use of her image in relation to fashion clothing was not licensed and that a substantial number of people buying the t-shirt would think that she had endorsed it when, in fact, it was not connected with her at all and that this had caused her damage.
In another case, Frank Sivero, Goodfellas actor, files a $250m lawsuit against The Simpsons for using his likeness.
Such litigation only exists because there is something of value to sue for.
During the pandemic, traffic to websites and social media increased and the concept of payments for image rights services has become commonplace. So, Famous people can earn money from two distinct sources. It, therefore, seems logical that if the legal system has to recognize these rights as a separate piece of intellectual property (IP) and it should be allowed for a system of registration like that for trademarks. The acknowledgment of “publicity rights” varies from country to country and its application is somewhat random. For example, the US has recognized the commercial aspects of such rights more than other countries. Guernsey is the first jurisdiction in the world to offer registered image rights, a new form of intellectual property. Some countries protect it If a person establishes an aspect of his or her identity as a trademark.

As a result of the global nature of the Internet, online assets such as images can spread quickly. Therefore, having an effective system for protecting publicity and image rights on digital platforms is crucial.

If you seek to redress the harm caused by the unlawful use of your image and generally, the publicity right in the digital area, our legal team can solve your issue! Get started today, by clicking the Sign-Up button above.

Popular Products