How Can I Defend a Claim of Copyright Infringement?
We are unable to read the language of the disclaimer involved. Generally, a party may be liable for copyright violation if a licensing agreement is violated. If material is claimed to violate a copyright, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) actually has very detailed information on what to do, how to do it, and how to determine if the complaint is valid. Please see the links below.
Owning the negative or photo does not automatically grant one the rights to use, publish, or profit from it. You could be liable if you use a photograph of someone without their consent to gain some commercial benefit, such as for advertising purposes. In these cases, any commercial use would require some form of Model or Property Release. Liability may also be found if someone claims that his/her privacy rights were invaded, he/she was portrayed in a false light, or the photo implies that the person is endorsing a product or service. The best way to protect oneself against lawsuits is to get prior written permission to use the photograph.
One who gives publicity to a matter concerning another that places the other before the public in a false light is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if:
(a) the false light in which the other was placed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and
(b) the actor had knowledge of or acted in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.
Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 652E.
The tort of appropriation involves the appropriation of a person's name or likeness for the defendant's economic benefit. This branch of invasion of privacy law recognizes an individual's right to privacy from commercial exploitation. It emphasizes a person's property right to exploit his or her own name or image for his or her own economic benefit. This type of privacy right is often described as an interference with the "right of publicity." The right of publicity recognizes the individual's right to regulate and obtain the benefits from the commercial exploitation of his name, likeness, identifying characteristics, and performances. Exceptions, among others, include when the information is disseminated as part of newsworthy events or matters of public interest, or consent to publicity.
For further guidance, please see the information at the following links:
We are prohibited from giving legal advice on how to defend against a copyright infringement claim, such as how to prepare a discovery request or whether a case is applicable, as this service provides information of a general legal nature. We suggest you consult a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved.
Please review these forms and if you have more specific questions, please feel free to call our customer service department who may be able to point you to a specific form or can tell you more about our form draft request service. You may reach them at 877-389-0141.