Law

Your Photographs and Facebook

August 16, 2020 Paul Brennan
Law
Your Photographs and Facebook
Chapters
Law
Your Photographs and Facebook
Aug 16, 2020
Paul Brennan

When someone uses photographs of you without your permission 

Show Notes Transcript

When someone uses photographs of you without your permission 

Many people, on finding that their image has been used to promote weight loss, may feel a little flattered, unless, of course, it is the “Before” rather than the “After” shot, but an attractive fitness trainer whose underwear shots were taken without her permission and used to promote slimming products on Facebook in another country was understandably livid.

Will Facebook rush into action? Well, it all depends.

Facebook will act if you can prove that your IPR have been infringed. Forinstance, the person taking a photograph is usually the copyright owner. By uploading the photograph, it has been copied. Facebook should act quickly to remove the infringing photograph. This is because generally, internationally, a company which hosts a site can be liable if they do not act to remove infringing material within 48 hours of being informed of the infringement. But, unless it was a selfie, or taken by your employee (depending on the jurisdiction), or you have a license or assignment of the IPR by the person who took the picture, you are not the copyright owner and do not have the right to enforce copyright in the photograph.

Have her image rights been infringed? This is an argument used by celebrities whose images are used to promote a product without their permission. Here, Facebook should act, as she is in the business of being a trainer and her image is part of the goodwill of her business.

Has she been defamed? Imputations of being fat, taking drugs, or being willing to strip off for money are insults that most people can laugh off, unless it is about them. But America has comparatively lax laws on defamation, as freedom of speech is a fundamental right of every US citizen and they can say what they like about anybody. Hence, the popularity of guns.

Therefore, Facebook may not be eager to act but can be forced to do so by courts in the countries where the defamatory statement was made or received. Lawyers in Australia, particularly judges, take abusive imputations very seriously, especially about being bald and/ or deaf.

Has her privacy been breached? Displaying an image of someone, even if it is in their underwear, is not a breach of their privacy, unless there is a good reason for it to be confidential.mThere are probably a number of national trading standards organisations to which she could protest, but they may not act quickly, or at all. Therefore, it is advisable to get your arguments in order before you approach Facebook demanding that they take photos down.

Disclaimer: All references to underwear, being overweight, selfies,
employees taking inappropriate photographs, disrobing, drug taking,
inappropriate use of firearms, ineffective lawmakers, trading standard
organisations being any slower than any other government body are pure
inventions to try and keep the readers’ attention and nothing to do with
the news report which sparked this article. Any resemblance to real
persons or events, living or dead, fat or thin is purely coincidental.