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Is this a breach of copyright?

Los Angeles, CA |

A company has taken a picture from her social media site, and are using it for their business. Can someone tell me if this is allowed?

from my daughters social media site* It's also a local company who are using the images, without permission.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

Probably not, but the detail will need to be understood and the next big question will be what are you prepared to do about? If this is one of many foreign operators that grab FB images and use them to promote their products it is all but impossible to do much about it because these guys are operating from a studio apartment in Pakistan, if you get my point.

I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives and options in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

Best regards,
Frank
Natoli-Lapin, LLC

DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. However, it's a local company near my residence, they have planted flyers with a picture of my daughter on. I believe it's from her Twitter site.

Frank A. Natoli

Frank A. Natoli

Posted

Well, what you are describing is clearly a violation of here right to privacy and publicity. Keep in mind however that this is not something a lawyer will handle for you on a contingency as for she knows the local company has no assets and would not be able to pay even a modest judgment. That said, you can certainly hire counsel to send a cease & desist and perhaps a demand on them. You may also want to just take them to the small claims court where the award cap is 5K.

Frank A. Natoli

Frank A. Natoli

Posted

Actually in CA, assuming that is where this company is located, I think the award cap is 10K.

Posted

Your daughter may or may not have a copyright claim. It will depend on who owns the copyright to the picture (usually the photographer), if she is in public, if she is merely part of a crowd shot, and whether they are using her right to publicity (a personal right.)

You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Use the "Find a Lawyer" tab on this site and choose an Intellectual Property lawyer from your locale. Most lawyers on Avvo offer a free phone consultation.

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.

Posted

While the copyright in a photograph usually originates with the photographer, copyrights can be transferred. However, when it comes to social media sites, the End License User Agreements (aka ELUA), Terms of Service, and etc. can transfer those rights from the photographer to the website.

Also, depending on the website and how her profile is set up (e.g. private), there may be other rights implicated, such as her right of Privacy and Publicity.

This is a situation where the factual details of the situation can make a huge difference in what rights and avenues she may pursue. An intellectual property attorney should be contacted to discuss this matter in more detail.

Posted

I'm not certain I understand the question. What is in the photograph itself? Is it another person? If so, then there may be a civil claim for invasion of privacy, i.e. false light, misappropriation of likeness, etc. For a breach of copyright, I cannot offer an answer from the facts provided. More information must be ascertained.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. In situations such as this one, the details are extremely important. Please contact an internet attorney in Los Angeles to discuss you situation. Make sure you have all the relevant facts such as: who took the picture, who posted it, how did the "company" obtain the picture, how are they using it... The attorney should be able to tell you whether a potential case exists.

Answers provided do not constitute legal advice, should not be considered as legal authority, and do not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely upon these materials without seeking professional counsel. Feel free to contact ALG (www.antoinelaw.com) so we may evaluate the specific needs and discuss the facts and issues you may be experiencing. Sending e-mail also does not establish an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship can only be established by mutual written consent with an attorney.