Legal Question in Technology Law in New York

Is this legal?

At the company I work for they just built a new company website. They put our pictures on the site without asking our permission. Some of us are upset about this. Is this legal?

Asked on 9/23/04, 10:26 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Kaiser Wahab Wahab & Medenica LLC

Re: Is this legal?

Use of one's image without consent can be an infringement of one's "right of publicity." That right allows one to control the use of their image, name, voice, likeness, etc. You would have to see if there was some kind of consent given by you or your co-workers, either thorugh a release form, an employment contract, or an oral agreement. Also, the right of publicity is not absolute. If the photos are there to report some event (e.g., the company's annual softball picnic an you and your co-workers were captured in candid photos) this may be an exception and therefore not illegal under the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Please feel free to read an article I wrote about the right of publicity here:

I hope the matter is resolved to your sarisfaction.

-Kaiser Wahab

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Answered on 9/23/04, 10:46 am
Bunji Fromartz Fromartz Law Offices

Re: Is this legal?

The legality depends on the manner in which the posting occurred. The circumstances are not related in enough detail to give a full opinion. In general the use of one's photo on a commercial site, other than as news, must be with permission.

I suggest you and your colleges voice your concerns to the company and ask to be removed for personal reasons. Advise the company in this day and age the publication of your image worries you.

I personally would be especially irked if my family members were also posted.

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Answered on 9/23/04, 11:24 am

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