Imagine you're comfortably sitting on your chair, browsing the internet or reading a magazine when suddenly you come across a photo of yourself. The catch? You never authorized anyone to use your image, and you didn't post it on that website. It's frustrating to discover that someone has used your photo without your permission. But don't worry, there are ways to protect your rights.
In this day and age, sharing photos on social media has become the norm, but it also comes with concerns about privacy and the unauthorized use of personal images.
If you're in a situation where your photo has been used without your consent, it's important to know your options to safeguard your rights. So, what can you do to protect yourself?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!