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Robert C. Cumbow

Robert Cumbow’s Answers

2 total

  • Can someone else post pictures of my child on the internet?

    My husband's brother (who he sees about 2 times a year and doesn't have a relationship with) has posted several pictures of my daughter (from a previous relationship) on his facebook page, is this legal for him to do without my consent as the lega...

    Robert’s Answer

    Probably. But there are some circumstances under which he cannot: (1) If the pictures were taken by you or your husband, or by anyone other than your husband's brother, posting them would constitute copyright infringement. If you or your husband took the photos, you own the copyright in them, and can demand that the photos be taken down on that basis. (2) If the photos are particularly personal, or posted in a context that portrays the child in a false light, your state's privacy laws may provide a basis for demanding that the photos be taken down. (3) If the posted photos are used in a commercial context, then the use of your child's image without permission violates the Washington State Personality Rights Act, which prohibits commercial (usually advertising) uses of a person's name or likeness without permission. If none of the above scenarios fit the situation, then the brother's posting probably does not violate any law or give rise to a basis for a civil action.

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  • A local chili restaurant is advertising an item that has been on the menu for over a year as new...false advertising?

    A chili restaurant in Cincinnati has bilboards and signage up all over the city advertising new Chilitos. They have been on their menu for a year. After emailing them they admit they are exactly the same but wanted to boost public knowledge. Is th...

    Robert’s Answer

    It depends. Many states have advertising laws that govern the use of specific words, such as "new." If this restaurant is advertising in a state that places specific definitional limits on the use of the term "new," then its promotion might be false. However, three questions remain: First, does a menu constitute "advertising"? Second, does the restaurant's description of this dish as "new" meterially affect people's decision as to whether to buy it or not? If it doesn't have a material effect on the prospective buyer's decision, than chances are it is not false, deceptive, or misleading. Third, even if the use of the term "new" does not harm any consumers by misleading them into making a purchase based solely on the "newness" of the dish, it might still harm a competitor, leaving itself open to an unfair competition action where a false advertising claim might not work. However, everything depends on whether calling a dish "new" after a year is genuinely false or not; so the particular state's law on use of the term "new" will be critical.

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