Sunday, January 29, 2017

Other People's Faces...and Stuff.

The most interesting copyright-law related blog of the week was penned by Kimberly Buffington of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.  The cautionary tale concerns a young lady who was photographed without her knowledge or consent while she was eating. A photographer emerged from hiding and asked her to sign a waiver, giving him permission to make use of her likeness, and she refused.

Six years later, the young lady started to see her unmistakable likeness on posters in franchise outlets of that same restaurant. What is more, some posters had been photoshopped to make it look like she was partying with alcohol and other people.

Curious? Follow this link for the skinny.

And in case that did not work for you:

I think the young lady has a point. What if her career depended on teetotalism? What if one of the other persons--and any of his apparent acquaintances--turns out to be of interest to the authorities?

Not only does this cautionary tale warn anyone who uses for commercial purposes the photographs they have taken, it also inspires my imagination with at least three stories. Which reminds me of The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde.  (Google Books cannot find reviews, but there are plenty on

It is not quite too late to submit your comments on the qualities and passions you'd like to see in the next Register of Copyrights.

Opine here.

One of the most important points to consider making (perhaps) is that additional weight ought to be given to the unique and thoughtful responses from creative persons who depend on copyright protections of their own work for their livelihood.

Finally, one can no longer rely on glaringly bad spelling and grammar to flag phishing attempts and spoof emails. Beware. This week, I've been bombarded with some clever ones purporting to tell me that I have purchased some very expensive sporting gear celebrating a certain Florida football team named after a large member of the cat family.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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