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Image Rights – a
quick overview
So much regulatory promise, so
little attention
Dr TN Mashinini
University of the Witwatersrand
Overview
Definition and
classification
Examples from
selected jurisdictions
Lack of harmonisation
in a world of global
citizens
Best practices and tips
for image usage
Image rights
• What? Protection of your
images, voice, likeness,
personality, and identity against
falsification & commercial
exploitation
• For whom? Everyone, but some
are more equal than others!
• Is it privacy? It depends… on
each jurisdiction & terminology
Examples of regulatory approaches
South
Africa
California New York
English
Law
Guernsey
Example from Africa
Grutter v Lombard (SCA) – right to
identity recognised as a separate
independent right encompassed
in human dignity
Privacy vs Identity debate
• Privacy violated due to
intrusion and unauthorised
disclosure if there is a
legitimate expectation of
privacy
• Identity violated by
falsification, commercial
exploitation – e.g Wells v Atoll
& Kumalo v Cycle Lab
• Freedom of Expression
limitations – Bool Smuts v
Herman Botha (SCA)
• South Africa
The right to
identity –
bird’s eye
view
Subjective independent personality right
Non-transferable, uninheritable, cannot be relinquished or
attached
Terminated by death
Infringement via iniuria
• Delictual claim under common law – must prove elements
• Type of conduct that violates identity:
• Misappropriation
• Falsification
• Commercial Exploitation
Remedies: Actio iniuriarum/ Interdict/ sometimes Actio legis
acquiliae
Examples
English law
• Consider Fenty v Topshop
Guernsey
• Image Rights Ordinance
• Registration
• Not tested in court
• Protected similarly to IP
Examples from United States of America
California
C-L tort of misappropriation
S3344 & 3344.1(a)(1) California Civil Code
• Commercial use w/o permission
• Post-mortem right for 70 years after the death
• Publishers are immune from claims relating to publications
they had no knowledge of
Keller v Electronic Arts Inc
• Illustrates when commercial use is not protected under First
Amendment right to free speech
New York
C-L privacy invasion tort
S50 & 51 New York Civil Rights Law
• Commercial use w/o permission
• Post-mortem right for 40 years after death
• Publisher should know of unlawfulness to attract
liability for damages
Haelan Laboratories v Chewing Gum
• Created confusion of separation between privacy
and publicity
Lack of harmonisation in a world of global
citizens
• Consider social media – memes/ deepfakes/ catfishing
• Social media user behaviour: believe what you see and hear –
disinformation age
• Identity aspects are at the centre of AI today – why not amplify image
rights protection?
Best practices and
tips for image
usage
• Hide your child’s face when you post pictures of them on social
media
• Reduce the frequency of posting images and videos
• Ask for permission if you want to take a picture of another person
• Be transparent about the purpose
• Written agreement with licensing and ownership clause
• Give credit where it is due
• Do not directly or indirectly create an impression of affiliation
where there is none
Want to know more?
PODCAST
Dr N Mashinini
Senior Lecturer
University of the Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg
Research Output on ORCiD
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3265-4220
- Image Rights byNMashinini -
https://irbymashinini.buzzsprout.com/

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CIPIT Webinar on Image Rights Presentation.pdf

  • 1. Image Rights – a quick overview So much regulatory promise, so little attention Dr TN Mashinini University of the Witwatersrand
  • 2. Overview Definition and classification Examples from selected jurisdictions Lack of harmonisation in a world of global citizens Best practices and tips for image usage
  • 3. Image rights • What? Protection of your images, voice, likeness, personality, and identity against falsification & commercial exploitation • For whom? Everyone, but some are more equal than others! • Is it privacy? It depends… on each jurisdiction & terminology
  • 4. Examples of regulatory approaches South Africa California New York English Law Guernsey
  • 5. Example from Africa Grutter v Lombard (SCA) – right to identity recognised as a separate independent right encompassed in human dignity Privacy vs Identity debate • Privacy violated due to intrusion and unauthorised disclosure if there is a legitimate expectation of privacy • Identity violated by falsification, commercial exploitation – e.g Wells v Atoll & Kumalo v Cycle Lab • Freedom of Expression limitations – Bool Smuts v Herman Botha (SCA) • South Africa
  • 6. The right to identity – bird’s eye view Subjective independent personality right Non-transferable, uninheritable, cannot be relinquished or attached Terminated by death Infringement via iniuria • Delictual claim under common law – must prove elements • Type of conduct that violates identity: • Misappropriation • Falsification • Commercial Exploitation Remedies: Actio iniuriarum/ Interdict/ sometimes Actio legis acquiliae
  • 7. Examples English law • Consider Fenty v Topshop Guernsey • Image Rights Ordinance • Registration • Not tested in court • Protected similarly to IP
  • 8. Examples from United States of America California C-L tort of misappropriation S3344 & 3344.1(a)(1) California Civil Code • Commercial use w/o permission • Post-mortem right for 70 years after the death • Publishers are immune from claims relating to publications they had no knowledge of Keller v Electronic Arts Inc • Illustrates when commercial use is not protected under First Amendment right to free speech New York C-L privacy invasion tort S50 & 51 New York Civil Rights Law • Commercial use w/o permission • Post-mortem right for 40 years after death • Publisher should know of unlawfulness to attract liability for damages Haelan Laboratories v Chewing Gum • Created confusion of separation between privacy and publicity
  • 9. Lack of harmonisation in a world of global citizens • Consider social media – memes/ deepfakes/ catfishing • Social media user behaviour: believe what you see and hear – disinformation age • Identity aspects are at the centre of AI today – why not amplify image rights protection?
  • 10. Best practices and tips for image usage • Hide your child’s face when you post pictures of them on social media • Reduce the frequency of posting images and videos • Ask for permission if you want to take a picture of another person • Be transparent about the purpose • Written agreement with licensing and ownership clause • Give credit where it is due • Do not directly or indirectly create an impression of affiliation where there is none
  • 11. Want to know more? PODCAST Dr N Mashinini Senior Lecturer University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Research Output on ORCiD https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3265-4220 - Image Rights byNMashinini - https://irbymashinini.buzzsprout.com/