Apr 27, 2017

What are image rights?

With the news yesterday that HMRC had reportedly arrested multiple individuals working in the professional football industry in a bid to stamp out suspected tax evasion, the use of image rights as a way to limit tax bills came to the forefront in the media.

Following on from our news articles yesterday, image rights are the rights which a person may have in their personality. These rights protect against the unauthorised use of a person's name but also their likeness or personal attributes such as their style, signature or nickname being used without their permission.

Whilst this may not be relevant for everyone, for celebrities who have established a recognisable reputation in the public eye, the commercialisation of their personality can be very lucrative in associating their personality with various goods and services.

Currently there is no definitive statute or body of common law which provides some framework for the legal underpinning of image rights in the UK. Cases in which celebrities have sought to obtain their own image rights have relied on a combination of the tortious centred law of privacy, the Data Protection Act 1998 and advertising standards codes. The Trade Marks Act 1994 has provided another route for celebrities to protect their image rights by allowing them to obtain a registered trademark to enforce these personality rights.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Legal News, News, Trade Marks

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