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Right of Publicity for Models in Photographs is a Distinct Right, apart from Copyright

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Firm News |

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Lurie|Strupinsky, LLP Copyright 2020

Above “models” give this written consent to use their images in this post.

“Businesses who use images of models, particularly those sourced from third parties such as stock image sites, must now carefully scrutinize whatever release the models have provided to ensure that they obtain “written consent” to their intended commercial use.”

“New York’s right of publicity statute, Civil Rights Law §§50, 51, precludes use of a person’s identity in advertisement or trade without his or her written consent. A recent Second Circuit decision, Electra v. 59 Murray Enterprises (2021), held that written releases provided by models to photographers, which provided full permission to use all rights in the photographs, did not suffice to satisfy the statute’s requirement of “written consent.” The businesses who used their photographs were thus liable under the statute.”  Reported here by the New York Law Journal:

We will work to obtain “written consent” from subjects of photographs (which we now understand, is a distinct right apart from the copyright of the photograph) to use their likeness for any commercial purposes by our clients.