What do I do if a designer used my image on her website with no permission? 1 Answers as of July 07, 2011I am a fashion model and recently participated in a fashion show to benefit an AIDS charity. After the show I discovered that one of the designers had posted a photo of me on her website with the purpose of selling her jewelry. This designer never asked my permission to use the photo and did not pay me for it. I requested she remove the photo and she has refused stating: "I am not sure whether you are aware of this but this was a charity event and all participation was voluntary. In such case, all the photographs taken can be and expected to be used for promotional purposes by photographers, models, make-up artists, designers etc." What can I do? I do not want my photo on her page because I am currently negotiating with a major jeweler for a paid shoot and this might cause a problem with the exclusivity clause.
ARC Law Group | Mark Pearson
Without knowing all of the facts, it would appear that you have a good Right of Publicity ("ROP) case, provided you are in a state that has a ROP statute. ROP gives you the absolute right over the commercial appropriation of your name, image and/or likeness. The fact that you did the shoot for "charity" probably doesn't have any relevance, unless there was some sort of agreement that you entered into with the organization hosting the event which might have allowed that organization to license or assign your ROP to the designer. Your next step should be to contact an attorney and discuss a strategy aimed at stopping the unauthorized use of your name, image and/or likeness so that you can proceed with entering into the exclusive personal services contract.
Answer Applies to: California