Q: Real (royalty free) picture of a famous person on a book cover? "Personal rights"?

I myself am a european and I am planning on publishing a book about an actor who is a US Citizen (note: it will have a negative connotation for that person).

On the book cover I am planning to use a "free for use" (creative commons) image of that person. So no copyright-problems will occur.

Although, in Europe there is something called a "personal right", I don't know the legal restrictions in the US and I need a "go"/a confirmation from a lawyer in the US for me to do that unscrupulously.

In Europe, since this person is "a person of public interest", I would be allowed to publish the cover with an image of that person. But since I want to sell it primarily to the US, US legal restrictions are more important to me.

Thank you for your reply!

1 Lawyer Answer

A: You may be violating the person's publicity rights. Careful you're not also sued for defamation or IP violations. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.