Your Face is Big Data – and valuable!

By Keith Laker

In a widely reported story this week, Russian photographer Egor Tsvetkov provided evidence in a paper entitled 'Your Face is Big Data' as to just how easy it is to identify individuals from photographs posted on line.   Using the face-recognition website Find Face, Tsvetkov was able to discover extensive personal information about many of the otherwise anonymous photos he had taken. Cara McGoogan’s article in the Telegraph provides one of the more detailed descriptions of Tsvetkov’s findings. This is not just a privacy issue.  Big companies are already masters of Big Data and as this type of facial recognition software improves – as it inevitably will – it will mean that targeted advertising becomes even more widespread and specific.   No longer will it be based on your phy... Read More

Free Speech + Fair Use ≠ Free Use. Free Speech + Fair Dealing → Fair Speech

By Dr Angela Adrian

In 2014, Paul Weller won £10,000 in damages against Associated Newspapers (which owns the Daily Mail) for publishing seven unpixellated photographs of his children online at the Daily Mail website (Weller v Associated Newspapers [2014] EWHC 1163 (QB)). Associated Newspapers then appealed this holding, Weller & Ors v Associated Newspapers Limited [2015] EWCA Civ 1176, which was dismissed and barred from further appeal to the Supreme Court. Associated Newspaper claimed that this decision created an “image right” (to date, image rights are not recognised in English law) which would have “wide-ranging and serious consequences not only for local, national and international digital journalism but for anyone posting pictures of children on social networks” (Weller). A publisher’s a... Read More

Privacy is not a Privilege it is the Prince’s Right

The following article is reproduced by kind permission of the British Monarchist Society.  It was first published in October 2014.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have threatened legal action if a certain photographer allegedly continues to stalk their son, Prince George. The position of the photographer is that he will continue to take photographs of the Prince when he is in a public area. There is a simplistic and self-serving argument that anything that the famous do is in the public interest. The genuine public interest, in terms of what is the common weal, is thus conflated with the prurience of some members of the public. Another part of this argument is that when someone is in public then they should not be able to escape the scrutiny of the media, whatever that scrutiny ex... Read More

Royal Children – Curbing the Paparazzi

By Keith Laker

The latest communication from Kensington Palace represents a heartfelt plea on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to respect the privacy of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. In an open letter to the media released today, Communication Secretary Jason Knauf relates the extreme lengths to which one paparazzi photographer went to obtain images of the Royal Prince.   In a description more reminiscent of a spy thriller, he relates how the photographer  “… rented a car and parked in a discreet location outside a children's play area.  Already concealed by darkened windows, he took the added step of hanging sheets inside the vehicle and created a hide stocked with food and drinks to get him through a full day of surveillance, waiting in hope to capture images of Prince Geo... Read More

Protecting children from the spotlight of fame: enhancing the California Paparazzi Bill with Registered Personality Rights.

By Keith Laker

Between 1999 and 2014, California introduced a raft of legislation collectively known as the (anti) Paparazzi laws. In September 2013, Senate Bill No. 606 was signed by the State Governor of California, Jerry Brown. Unlike the earlier bills, which were drafted with the privacy of celebrities in mind, Senate Bill 606 was intended to deal with the very specific problem of paparazzi photographing celebrity children. It was the result of considerable lobbying by various celebrities including Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner; both of whom testified before a state assembly committee as to why they believed this law was necessary. Eighteen months on from its introduction, the question to be asked is ‘has it been effective?’ We consider the advantages and shortcomings of Senate Bill No. 606... Read More

Guess why Gucci’s® Trademarks failed: How Image Rights provide brand protection.

By Dr Angela Adrian

Strategic brand management is at the core of any global company’s success. Sound traditional strategy advocates that companies protect their patents and trademark rights early and proactively. However, this advice is dated and static. A new dynamic and flexible intellectual property right has arrived: image rights. Image rights encompass the commercial exploitation of a brand’s identity and associated images linked to that brand. They are related to the distinctive expressions, characteristics or attributes of, or associated with, a brand’s personality. They can grow and develop in tandem with your brand. Just as you do not have to register your child’s birth and existence each year, nor do you have to register your brand’s growth and changing personality. You just add an imag... Read More

Personality Rights: a Korean perspective

By Keith Laker

Publicity rights have been at the centre of controversy in Korea on numerous occasions.  Many celebrities have claimed that their rights have been violated,  but so far none have been successful in bringing a court action against the alleged infringers.   This issue was considered in an edition of the Korean radio station eFM's 'Primetime' program,  broadcast on 25 March 2015.   Icondia was invited to take part as a leading authority on registered image rights.  Dr Angela Adrian was questioned about the nature of registered image rights,  who could register and what the process involved.   You can listen to the entire program below.  The interview with Angela Adrian starts at 06:00 minutes into the program. For more information about registered image rights,  contact enquirie... Read More

Brand Protection: The Law of Luxury Goods

By Adrian Shaw

Icondia were one of several speakers at a recent seminar organized by the International Assoication of Lawyers for the Creative Industries (‘IALCI’).   This seminar was one of a series concerning the protection of the intellectual property belonging to brands within the fashion and luxury goods industries, featuring actual and hypothetical situations faced by high profile manufacturers and individuals. Speakers included Annabelle Gauberti of law firm Crefovi, Michael Skrein on the Rihanna v Topshop dispute, Jane Lambert of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, Stuart Durham of Netnames, together with others, including Icondia’s Keith Laker on the subject of using registered image rights as an additional tool for the purpose of brand protection. In particular Laker drew a comparison with how... Read More

Image Rights: Adding value to Goodwill.

By Keith Laker

Image Rights: Adding value to Goodwill. In December last year, Icondia gave a presentation at the Wyscout football symposium concerning the significance of creating actual property rights by way of registered personality. All too often people dismiss the concept of the Guernsey Image Rights Ordinance as an irrelevance in the wider commercial world where image rights have long been accommodated by way of contracted rights between parties. They miss the point entirely – and it’s an important point. Registration of Personality creates property rights. Unlike ‘goodwill’, which is the most ephemeral of assets, the creation of actual property rights means that transferring this personal property becomes easy. As things currently stand, it is difficult to transfer personal goodwill... Read More

Rihanna Re-cap: Why image rights registration may be in order

By Dr Angela Adrian

The UK Court of Appeals has confirmed what everyone already knew: ‘She is a style icon.’ Rihanna won the appeal made by TopShop, who was held to be ‘passing off’ Rihanna’s image as endorsing their own product. It is important to realize that English law has never recognized ‘image rights’. These decisions were based on the concept that Rihanna’s image is a business asset; and she lost money on that asset because of Topshop’s t-shirt. The trial court relied upon very particular facts and established a general principle that goes against any celebrities who might have hoped to see the beginnings of a general image right. The Appeals Court agreed with the factual findings that Rihanna’s identity has value and with the legal principle that there is no distinct ‘image r... Read More