Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

First Jurisdiction to Allow Registered Image Rights

Court FightGuernsey, one of the Channel Islands and a dependency of the British crown, will be the first jurisdiction in the word that will allow people to register their image, likeness, identity, voice, expressions, and other characteristics as a form of intellectual property. The Image Rights will allow any person, not only residents of Guernsey, to register their image and all that encompasses. The law will also allow for the registration of images that are associated with dead people, such as celebrities Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. The only condition is that the person must have dead within the last 100 years. A person does also not have to be famous to register the image; they only need to be well-known at the time of infringement claim.

If a person chooses to register his or her image, that person is said to have "image rights," which means that that the person who owns these rights have the right to control the commercial use of the image. Notice, this law does not give the owner a complete monopoly over the use of the image. People can still use the image for private, non-commercial uses. Furthermore, there is an exception for the use of the imagine that is in the public interest, such as "new reporting, parody, satire, or the arts." In addition, the law provides for moral rights. This gives the owner "the right to object to derogatory treatment of the personality and its images."

See Jason Romer & Kate Storey, Guernsey Registered Image Rights, Collas, Nov. 26, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2012/12/first-jurisdiction-to-allow-registered-image-rights.html

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