Seeing Your Face At Unusual Places?
There are two kinds of celebrities; those who want their image to be used by public for more popularity and attention so that they can make more money out of it and those who want to own their image and control how it can be used and how it cannot be used. The first kind of celebrities are those who might have gained new popularity and do not care much about how their image is being used, it might be so because they might be unaware that their images are their intellectual property that cannot be used without permission because there is something called ‘image rights’. the second kind are more aware of laws and their intellectual property. In an era of Facebook, twitter and Instagram, seeing your face at unusual places can be disturbing as it invites a lot of discussion from people you don’t even know. People use image of celebrities as per their own likeliness and without permission which is illegal. Image with a celebrity is everything for promotion of many brands as association with the right celebrity can significantly affect the business in a positive way. However, if the image is used in such a way that it promotes the product but at the same time downgrades the celebrity, the celebrity can do a lot to save his/her image specially when it was used without his consent.
An example is that of Duane Reade’s social media manager who used the paparazzi image of Katherine Heigl (an actress and celebrity who is a highly successful with her career) to promote mart’s business. In the image, Katherine was seen carrying her shopping bags with visible tag of Duane Reade and the picture was published by the company on twitter without her consent. Katherine filed a legal law suit against the company as soon as she saw her picture at a place she didn’t expect. Duane Reade got sued for violation of image rights along with charges of 6 million dollars. It is evident that Duane Reade’s brand manager should have approached an image rights management firm where he could have gained legal access and permissions for brand promotion.
Little investment and precaution could have saved Duane Reade from losing 6 million dollars. Lawsuits must be filed and action must be abruptly taken if you see your image being used without consent so that the ignorant can learn to use images through proper channel such as that of image rights management agencies.