Can I use the image of a person in a photo to promote your business? Good question. And, the answer might surprise you.
It’s Simon here from The Contract Company. As Australia’s contract law experts, we live and breathe, well, contracts, 24/7.
To offer our clients and customers even more value, we’ve launched a website called askacontractlawyer.com.au where you can ask any relevant questions, free of charge. If your answer qualifies, we’ll get back to you through video. And, the ‘people in photos’ question is one we get a lot.
So, back to the task at hand…
Can you use an image without consent?
So, can you use the image of a person to promote your business? Well, the answer, in short, is yes you can. But, should you? Probably not.
Let me explain. In Australia, there’s no common law right to privacy. This means that no one can stop you from using a photo of a person to promote your business.
But, there are some caveats….If you have a very well-known personality, someone famous, they could raise an action for defamation or misleading and deceptive conduct under the Australian Consumer Law (if they disagree with your usage of their image). Or, potentially under the Laws of Passing Off, to basically say that they didn’t authorize your business to use their image in the photo. This concept works both ways, too. You can raise action if you believe someone has used your image without due consent.
Take a well-known personality like Kieren Perkin, for example. He was able to take on Telstra, who used a photo of him wearing a swim cap sporting the Telstra logo.
In this case, Kieren was able to prove that Telstra was trying to imply that he was a Telstra brand spokesperson when he wasn’t.
But, unless you’ve got a Kieren Perkins-like profile, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to bring a successful action to stop a business from using your image.
More often than not, the business using you or your image for promotional purposes has a legal right to if they have purchased a licence from the photographer.
As long as the business has the copyright owner’s consent to use the image, then they can technically use it—and that’s the catch.
To navigate these choppy waters safety, you can aim to get disclosure from the model. This type of disclosure is signed by the person who is featured in the photo, or the subject of the photo.
The disclosure states that they can or that they consent to you using their image to promote your business and they can’t sue you.
It’s a simple one-page Australian-made contract that can protect your business and save a lot of time, money, and hassle.
Just a simple, well-crafted document with a couple of paragraphs is all you need to reduce the risk of conflicts or legal action.
I hope that answers your question about using people in promotional photographs and if you have any more legal curiosities head on over to askacontractlawyer.com and ask away. And, if it qualifies, we’ll answer your question, in full, via video.
The benefits of using The Contract Company…
- We are fully trained, fully certified contract experts with decades of experience. We’ve handled thousands of professional contracts to date, all with great success.
- We are professional and diligent yet friendly and approachable.
- We can handle literally thousands of different contract types. Our national service is extensive.
- Our prices are affordable and tailored to your needs. We also offer a money-back guaranteed if you’re not satisfied with our service.
So, if you need help with any business contracts, big or small, we can help, and our service is Australia-wide. For a free consultation, contact Simon at contractcompany.au or 1-800-355-455. I look forward to hearing from you.