Image rights and wrongs – Sentric Music Blog 12/04/2007 –

Sentric Music Blog 12/04/2007 –Image rights and wrongs

This weeks blog is to do with image rights (or the lack thereof in the UK). You may have recently read in the press about Kate Winslet taking Grazia Magazine to the cleaners:
Winslet accepts libel settlement

Actress Kate Winslet has accepted a “substantial” settlement in her libel action over a magazine claim that she had visited a diet doctor.

the simplistic way to put this so it is relevant to this weeks subject:

Grazia calls the perfectly sized Winslet fat, she sues saying that is damaging her reputation within the eyes of the public, Grazia cough up loads of cash. Simple.

Or is it? You may be surprised to discover that there isn’t actually an Image right law in the UK (not surprised? Well I was and that’s what matters), this quote explains it pretty substantially:

“‘Image Rights’ however do not exist per se in the UK, but are based upon a number of statutory common law rights, none of which are specifically designed to protect the unauthorised use of a personality’s image”
(Braithwaite, Pennington 2003)

And what are these statutory common law rights I here you scream at me? Well here they are and what you have to do to break them:

• Trademark Infringement è if you register something as a trademark then you have the exclusive right to use it and to also stop other 3rd parties from using it without your permission. Don’t get your hopes of trademarking your band up though, getting registration of a trademark is both fooking expensive and also hard to get. Alex Ferguson tried to trademark himself in 2005 but was rejected (there were legal reasons but I suspect whoever had the final decision either supported Man City or basically any other team apart from Man Utd)

• Copyright Infringement è copyright can protect a drawing or a picture and class it as an artistic work but it cannot protect the individual in question. So basically be careful when choosing what to have for your artwork. DO NOT just go to google images and choose the first thing you think will look pretty on iTunes. Some one took that picture and therefore owns the copyright, and the last thing you need when starting a band is to get sued after your first E.P.

• Libel è As with ‘Chubby’ Winslet above, she successfully claimed libel as the statement that was said about her, she claimed, ‘lowered her reputation within the eyes of the public’, this is very similar to…

• Malicious Falsehood è as with above for someone to do you over with malicious falsehood you’d have to make a statement about them which when the public read, would make the great British public think they’re complete nasty pieces of work. For example “Robbie Williams’ recent trip to rehab was actually a cover up for his trip to the newly reformed Hitler Youth, an insider said “Robbie was really passionate about securing the future of the Arian race and wore his swastika with pride… along with that trademark cheeky smile” (naturally this isn’t malicious falsehood as it is in context with the blog. I love you Robbie, don’t ever forget that.)

• Passing off è no this is not the act of farting within the courtroom as my flatmate believed it to be, but in fact is misrepresentation. The most famous case (and the closest the UK courts have come to recognising a ‘celebrity right’) of this was Eddie Irvine vs TalkSPORT, where TalkSPORT took a picture of Irvine holding a mobile phone and doctored it so it looked like he was holding a radio with the TalkSPORT logo on it then distributed it without his permission (

• Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act è this one just protects you under the basic right that everybody has to privacy. So quite dull and hard to make a joke out of.
I’m quite aware that this blog may seem quite educational but don’t be scared, knowledge is power remember and its good to learn something once in a while.

What I’m listening to this week:

Maximo Park’s new track and The Balor Knights

Stay tuned



~ by Sentric on April 3, 2007.

One Response to “Image rights and wrongs – Sentric Music Blog 12/04/2007 –”

  1. […] Blogs however have more an appeal as they’re willing to take more and more risks. If you write a personal blog and don’t have a company’s image to think about then why hold back at all? Imagine what I would say about Hard-Fi if I didn’t have to think about being sued for liable (or any of the other reasons you can legally take someone to court for by potentially damaging their image rights). […]

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