|I've taken several photos off my blogs because they happen to be of living celebrities. Of course, these images are plastered all over the Internet in fan sites, etc, but with Virgin Mobile being sued because they used photos from the Flickr website without obtaining model releases, I now wonder how bloggers all over the world will be affected - especially bloggers that write to basically slag celebrities and trash them to the derisive chuckles of their readership.
It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Addendum: According to this site, using celebrity photos in commentary comes under question in regards to "fair usage." If you sell ad space or a product on your website, having celebrity photos could be seen as an endorsement by that celebrity, even though there was no such intention. It could also be seen as a commercial use of that photo. Does this mean now, no posting of family photos without written permission of all family members in case someone uses it somewhere else, creatively, without your knowledge?
There's always a risk that someone will use a photo in a way you don't like. With or without the Internet. I am sure that there is an old schoolmate of mine somewhere, who has a photo of me with a moustache drawn on it and a few teeth blackened out. Duplicate that with a copier or fax machine and distribute it, and if I wanted to be nasty, I could sue that person.
For the most part, however - I have to agree with Oscar Wilde who said, "there's only one thing worse than being talked about ... and that's not being talked about." It's scary to me, though, that having photos in a blog or on a website for illustrative or creative purposes could open people up to all kinds of lawsuits.
Some days you just want to live in a cave.
Labels: celebrities, lawsuits, photos, public domain