News Flash: Celebs If You Walk the Red Carpet, You Consent to Use of Your Image

Long time readers of UDUAK LAW FIRM BLOG have seen me use the term, “nonsense and rubbish” where a legal news, lawsuit etc. amounts to “nonsense and rubbish.”  This latest suit, which was rightfully dismissed, gets a “nonsense and rubbish” nod from me. A celebrity sues because she walked the red carpet, photographers took her images and sold it. She says they needed her consent to sell the images.  Hmmm . . . I know I recently discussed the Naomi Campbell v. Cadbury case and “Rights of Publicity” law which it appears she used. But celebs, common. As in *blank stare.*

Celebrities, the media is key  in making you a celebrity and sustaining your image in the public. Ease up a bit when you contemplate suits against media. If you won’t, at the very minimum, understand the ramifications of what your lawsuit can do to a whole industry, if successful. Read on:

“A California judge has ruled that celebrities who walk down the red carpet at an Hollywood event imply their consent to the use of their likeness in photographs. The ruling dismisses a class action lawsuit brought by Shirley Jones, star of the TV series The Partridge Family.

Jones initiated the lawsuit against Corbis Corporation, a digital image company that licenses the rights to millions of photographs. Among the company’s images are celebrities at entertainment gala events who show up, walk a red carpet and smile for the cameras. Jones alleged that Corbis had breached her publicity rights by operating a website that hosted 10 photographs of her on the red carpet and allowing users to search for her name and see sample low-resolution images.

Corbis buys the rights to these images from wire services, cultural institutions and professional photographers. The company then licenses the copyrights to others.

The issue for California federal judge Stephen Wilson was whether in the process of this transaction, Corbis can exploit commercially the name and image of Jones and other famous individuals.

Judge Wilson says Corbis’ actions are perfectly fine.

“Plaintiff concedes that for the ten photographs at issue, she chose to walk down the red carpet knowing photographers would take her picture,” writes the judge in an opinion issued on Wednesday. “Plaintiff also does not dispute that it is the custom and practice in the entertainment industry that red carpet photographs are widely used and disseminated. When Plaintiff is on the red carpet, it is Plaintiff’s practice to pose for photographers and agree to their requests to smile or to look in their direction.”

THR, Esq. has the full story.

-Photocredit: 2164th