Inderscience Publishers

Image rights ? a right worth having?

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We are currently living in an age where celebrity endorsements have become part of the norm. For celebrities such as David Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Cole, product endorsements are a significant source of income. However there are situations where the celebrities' images have been used to promote products or services that they have not authorised. There are some states which do offer legal protection for personas in the form of image rights, while other states do not. This then begs the question as to whether there needs to be a universal image right and if so what type of right should it be. Since image rights encompass both personality and property rights, this paper proposes that image rights should be treated as a sui generis right. The paper will reach this conclusion by examining the current treatment of image rights in both common and civil law jurisdictions.

Keywords: property rights, personality rights, France, Germany, Canada, USA, United States, personas, sui generis rights, privacy, publicity, celebrity endorsements, commercial goodwill, image rights, images, imagery, celebrities, David Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Cheryl Cole, product endorsements, income sources, product promotion, services promotion, legal protection, universal rights, common law, civil law, jurisdictions, civil liability, scientific enquiry

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