Peculiarities of using other people’s images in public space
Author: Oleksiy Hrachov, attorney at Dynasty Law & Investment
If you are a public person who constantly gives interviews, or if you accidentally came across a photo of a complete stranger just passing by, then you should think about the fate of your image. The modern development of social networks will definitely not allow you to leave such photos or videos for private viewing, and a post with an inscription will be good fodder for thinking about your professional, business or personal qualities.
Understanding the importance of the problem of using someone else’s image, national and international courts have recently expressed their legal positions on this issue.
So, in order to understand whether the publication of an image of a person is an interference in his private life, it is necessary to analyze the following circumstances:
- the influence of the photo on public discourse – the courts note that the discussion caused by the publication of the photo may not only concern the problems of politics, crimes, but also sports, creativity, etc., while rumors about family scandals of a public figure or the bankruptcy of a famous singer are not of general interest, which determines the limits of interference in the private sphere;
- the popularity of a person – as a general rule, a private person unknown to society can demand special protection of his private life, but public figures do not have such a privilege;
- the behavior of the person before the publication of the image – it should be taken into account whether the corresponding post appeared in the public space before;
- the content, form and consequences of the publication – the way in which the publication was made and the way the person is depicted in the photo are to be taken into account;
- the circumstances under which the photo was taken – courts should pay attention to the presence of the photographed person’s consent to the publication of his image.
The last criterion is decisive for determining the limits of interference in private life. However, national legal norms do not determine the form of consent of a natural person to the use of a photograph with its image. Consent can be given in writing, orally, or by tacit consent. The latter may be manifested in the fact that the person knew and saw the fact of filming, but did not object to it. Self-publishing photos for an unlimited number of people and without indicating the existence of copyright or related rights to them also indicates consent to the use of the image.
The protection of the private interests of an individual, related to the publication of his photo or video, involves immersion in many evaluative concepts. We, lawyers at Dynasty Law & Investment, will help you understand their intricacies and defend your rights.