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

Regal Personalities and Royal Images: Protecting the private lives and public personas of the Royal Family

By Dr Angela Adrian

Abstract: Can a Royal personnage be protected by the Image Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance 2012? How would one balance the rights of free speech and free press with the economic and dignitary interests of the Royal personnage? Does the European Convention on Human Rights have a role to play in this balancing act? If the Queen is not above the law, then neither should the law be beneath her. (This article was first published on 3 February 2014) Download the full insight Read More

Me, as stolen by Richard Prince

By Dr Angela Adrian

Artist and alleged thief, Richard Prince, reminded us that what you post is public. It can be shared for anyone to see and, apparently, use. As a part of the Frieze Art Fair in New York, Prince displayed giant screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos without warning or permission. He then sold these prints for $90,000 apiece. Is copyright law so very flexible? This article first published here: Download the full insight. 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

Enforcing your Guernsey Image Rights in California

By Dr Angela Adrian

Many interested parties have posed the question how can a foreign law be upheld in the United States. The answer will be based upon a California law entitled Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgements Recognitions Act. “Instantaneous access to valuable data and information, and relatively inexpensive intercontinental transportation, combined with international commerce, have solidified the notion that we truly live in a borderless world.  Those nations that have recognized the need to guarantee fluid access to this universal system are well positioned to attract human and capital investments, precious resources in the stage of worldwide competition.  California has always been at the forefront of this new frontier.  It offers one of the most efficient, predictable and fair judicial syst... Read More

LIMA Las Vegas: June 9th – 11th 2015

If you are in the business of brand licensing then you need to know about LIMA.  LIMA is the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association and is the official sponsor of Licensing Expo 2015.  This is one of the key annual exhibitions for any firm looking to license brand or celebrity image.  It takes place during June 9th to June 11th in Las Vegas and will feature some of the biggest names in media, entertainment, and marketing.  Icondia will be attending and will have a team of three available to provide advice on the merits of image rights as an integral part of brand protection for corporations and individuals alike.  Identity is cause,  brand is effect.  Icondia creates intellectual property from corporate or personal identity through the registration of personality as a regist... Read More