helenlt on September 27th, 2013
Well, that’s what they say! Only in this case, it seems a picture’s worth a $1million. The Daily Mail reports that a court has ordered UK retailer Topshop to paid Rihanna $1m in damages and legal costs for the use of an unflattering image of her on one of the t-shirts they were selling. Although this is not strictly a copyright matter – copyright in the photograph belongs to the photographer and not the photo’s subject – Rihanna; we thought it was worth highlighting the article because we often get questions about using photos of people.
When using photos, you need to think about two issues – copyright and privacy. Unless you own copyright in the photo or an exception in the Copyright Act applies, you will need to get permission from the copyright owner. Copyright does not apply to a person’s image but there may be other laws, such as privacy, that may need to be considered when using a person’s image, especially if the individual is well-known and has a public profile, such as Rihanna. The University requires that you get permission from an individual if you are planning to use their image for University purposes. You can download the University’s photo consent deed here.
If you are filming or videoing people, you will need to use the A-V consent deed.
If you have questions about using images of people you can contact us or the Privacy Office.