She should contact the company and ask that it be taken down and not used for this purpose.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
In order to fully address your question, more facts are needed. More specifically, what is the context of the picture? Is she in a public setting? I advise you contact a copyright attorney who can review the photo and its context and counsel you as to her rights in the image.
It is entirely possible that this image was lawfully monetized on the site because the copyright owner is likely the photographer that took the photo not the subject within it. But that said, this does not mean that I can use the image of an identifiable person in my advertising and promotional materials for my business without that persons consent. I mean, if it were a crowd shot that would be different. Such use will likely violate her right to publicity and privacy.
As noted, I would see if you can get that removed and if not, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your best course of action 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.
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.
As my colleagues note, the rights of the person shown in a photograph depends on what's shown in the photograph. In your situation what's shown is an oustide shot of a mostly-obscured woman carrying a very large vulture. The vulture conveys, by far, the most significant visual and informational impact. I think the woman shown has no "right of publicity" to enforce nor any cause to complain if the photograph is licensed even for commercial purposes. The woman should speak with her own New Jersey-licensed intellectual property attorney, however, because state law controls the "right of publicity" analysis.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
I reviewed your picture, you should speak with your girlfriend and have her retain an experienced Copyright attorney to write to Reuters Picture, and require that they pay her royalties on sales of the photograph. She may also consider whether she would like to have the photograph taken down or left on the Reuters site.
Mr. Sack's postings on Avvo are of a general nature, based on the facts provided and are not intended to be taken as legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.
Unfortunately a letter written by a lawyer to have this taken down may be your best bet. As I think this could go either way in a lawsuit and most attorneys don't take these types of cases on contingency when it can go either way. Good Luck
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