Defamation and Invasion of Privacy
The right of publicity is based on general invasion of privacy principles that prohibit using a person’s name or likeness to gain a benefit for commercial purposes. It’s commonly associated with celebrities, but everyone has this right.
Defamation can come into play if a person claims emotional distress or other harm due to published content concerning them. If you reproduce photos, videos, or other representations of an individual, or a brand, without permission, there is a chance they could take you to court for violations of privacy rights.
- Always obtain signed releases if using images of individuals for commercial purposes. Keep releases as short and simple as possible because you may need to get a signature on short notice, and a long-winded contract may scare your subject away.
- You may also need copyright permission if you’re using images or content from a third party source.