My Photo Is Used Without My Permission; Can I Sue?
Published on:August 20, 2015

My Photo Is Used Without My Permission; Can I Sue?You are comfortably sitting on your chair, surfing the web or reading a magazine and unexpectedly discover your own photo. Surprisingly, you did not post it on that website or authorized anyone to use your photo. It is annoying that someone used your photo without your permission. Now, what can you do to protect your rights? Well, here are a few things you can do if your photo is used without your permission.

Appropriation of Likeness

You could bring a lawsuit by accusing the defendant of an invasion of privacy by appropriation of your likeness, a process known as right to publicity. This law allows you to control and profit from the commercial use of your image, name and persona or your identity. Basically, the Staten Island legislation or law prohibits using anyone’s image or likeness to sell or even advertise products without his or her consent. However, not all your photographs are infringements. Determine whether you authorized a licensing agency to use your photo or granted a broad license that the authority could easily allow others to use your photo. Then, check whether it was used fairly or not? While only the courts can prudently decide on what is fair use, your personal injury attorney may give you the guideline as to what may qualify.

False Light

If your photo is used to show you in a negative or misleading way, you could sue for false light. False light is an invasion of privacy that is based on injury to the reputation of the victim by negative portrayal. It is similar to slander, libel and defamation. However, you will have to prove that your image was shown to the third party with misleading representation aimed at placing you in a false light that would be offensive, unflattering, or embarrassing to a reasonable person. Make sure you save copies of the photo both in print and electronic form because the defendant may remove the photo without notice when he/she realizes that the infringement is discovered. You will you them as evidence.

Intrusion of Solitude

You will have ground for invasion for solitude if the infringing photo was taken in private places. For instance, if someone took a photo of you in a hotel, rental apartment or while you were in your house. Find out who the infringer is by searching through the website or magazine of the infringer to find the contact address and name. Several websites provide information about contact for owners/administrators of the website.

Send a Desist Letter to the Infringer

Another option is to contact the infringer yourself and request payment for infringement or ask him or her to desist from using your image or photo. You better do this in writing so that you can use that as evidence in a lawsuit.

Hire an Experience Personal Injury Lawyer

If you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, the matter is escalated and tensions rise. Sometimes the infringer may be too defensive, but with the weight of an experienced personal injury lawyer the infringer could take the matter more seriously. Besides, proving image infringement may not be easy and require a lawyer to give you the legal counsel in a jurisdiction.

In today’s world of on the spot photo posts, rapidly growing internet search tools and computer hackers, it seems as though privacy is lost, but the Staten Island laws still provide various ways you can control the publication and share of your own image without permission. It is up to you to use them!