The following IP practice note produced in partnership with JJ Shaw of Lewis Silkin LLP, Alex Kelham of Lewis Silkin LLP and Rob Meredith CTA of PKF Francis Clark provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note focuses on the commercial protection, exploitation and taxation of image rights in the UK. While it covers some laws which can be employed to protect an individual’s privacy (including breach of confidence, data protection, and defamation), it does so within the context of commercial exploitation and protection of a celebrity’s image. For detailed guidance on misuse of private information, see Practice Note: Privacy law—misuse of private information.
Famous sportspeople, entertainers and other celebrities derive substantial income from allowing themselves to be commercially associated with brands. It is big business, very big business, and because of this, celebrities and athletes are faced with three very different problems.
Firstly, how to stop brands from linking themselves with the celebrity without paying a licence fee. Secondly, how to derive the most commercial income from exploitation of their image rights while maintaining control, exclusivity and value. And thirdly, how to ensure that the income is taxed fairly.
The term ‘image rights’ is used to refer to an individual’s proprietary rights in their personality and the ability to exploit, and to prevent unauthorised third parties from making use of, an individual’s persona, including their name, nickname, image, likeness, signature and other indicia that are inextricably connected with that individual.
A number of jurisdictions have specific laws preventing the use of a
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