Bruce E. Burdick
Bruce E. Burdick, Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Alton, IL
Posted about 1 year ago.

Good additional point.

No photo
Asker
Posted about 1 year ago.

When you say "image," do you mean photograph? So if I took a photograph myself of the famous person, I still might not be able to use it for commercial gain? How about original drawings/sketches/paintings of the famous people? Thanks

Jon Kenneth Perala
Jon Kenneth Perala, Copyright Infringement Attorney - Chicago, IL
Posted about 1 year ago.

Using photographs you have taken or sketches you have drawn yourself would solve the copyright issue but not the right of publicity issue. Right of publicity is concerned with the use of an image regardless of what form the image is in or who owns it. A sketch or painting could also be a derivative work if you are just copying someone's photograph in a different medium.

Bruce E. Burdick
Bruce E. Burdick, Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Alton, IL
Posted about 1 year ago.

Famous people have less right of privacy but more right of publicity. So, yes you might not be able to use it if you are using the "likeness" of the celebrity for commercial purposes. Different states have different laws on that. California, home of Hollywood and actors, is naturally more protective of celebrities. Here in the midwest, rules are somewhat less strict but still give protection. So say you want to paint pictures of Leonard diCapria and sell them, you will have legal problems due to right of publicity. If you wanted to do Leonardo da Vinci, you won't face right of publicity issues.