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There is a man using personal Photos of myself, and many other people. We want them removed from his possession.

Selden, NY |
Filed under: Internet law

This man, for the past year, has been re-posting these pictures everywhere. We did not know at the time that this man was going to use them over and over and post them for the world to see multiple times over the course of a year. I would like to find a way of getting ALL of these photos, anywhere that they are (ie: email, backup drive, flash drive...) from his possession. I've tried tirelessly for the past year to keep my face from popping up online, and being ridiculed by people of which recognize me from these pictures. I am hoping that the other people whom he has photos of too will stand with me, I am in the process of contacting them now.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Your question is not specific enough to answer. Did you and the others provide the photos to this man or where they already publicly posted? What sites is he posting them on? Does he attach comments or use the photos in a way to suggest comments? Is he using the photos to advertise his services or otherwise make income?

  2. How did he get the pictures? Where exactly is he re-posting them?

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  3. I am sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, you don't provide enough information to provide any guidance. Your best bet would be to consult with a local IP attorney. You'll need to answer many questions to get help, e.g., Who took the pictures? Did you sign a release? What purpose is he using them for, etc.?

    I am not your attorney and any posts/messages or responses to posts/messages can not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon free legal advice and I disclaim any liability for the results if you do.

  4. I understand your frustration, but it is far from clear based on the limited information in your question that you have the right to stop this person from using these photographs. You have a right of publicity that might prevent others from using your image for commercial purposes without your consent. But your question does not reveal whether the images are being used for commercial purposes. Courts have recently held repeatedly that the First Amendment substantially limits the right of publicity, and if your photographs are being used because they are newsworthy, works of art, or because this person admires you, these uses could be appropriate. Further, depending upon how and where these photographs were taken, you may have granted this person an implied license to use the photographs. If you voluntarily appeared in the photographs, for example, you may have waived any claim that you may have if the photographs are used for non-commercial purposes. Further, the photographer---and not you---owns the copyright in the photographs, and the photographer may have granted permission to this man to post the photographs. Without knowing the circumstances under which the photographs were taken and how you came to participate in them, I cannot advise you that you have the right to remove them from this person's possession or stop him from using them.

    I have handled a number of cases over the years involving models and actors who, in younger years, voluntarily posed in pornographic or semi-pornographic photographs and films, and then hope to find a way to put the genie back into the bottle. Sometimes it is possible to assert that the license granted for use of the photographs was limited in scope, but many times there is no way to stop use and distribution of the photographs. The devil is in the details---I have been successful more times than not in situations like this, but there are some circumstances in which bad judgment of young, aspiring actors, models and musicians early in their careers comes back to haunt them.

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