Asked in Civil Litigation and Intellectual Property

Q: Hi, should I take the 500 euros a dating app is offering me as compensation for stealing my photo and using it as an ad?

A French dating app used my photo, against its own terms and conditions as well as the law (I believe) and used it as its own marketing content, until a year ago when someone who saw it sent it to me, having recognised me in this picture. My image was the first image that appeared when one googles the name of this app. The app was using a picture in which I am 17 years old, which they misleadingly captioned saying this was a 29 year old. I felt very violated and reached out to them angrily. They offered me 500 euros. I never got back to them because I felt insulted by how small an amount this was, and felt powerless because I can't afford a lawyer. I don't know what to do. I want them to pay for the violation, and I want compensation, but I can't afford to stand up t them. What should I do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I'm sorry this happened to you. Your post does not mention a state, or whether this took place in the United States, since you describe an overseas-based app and an overseas currency. It's understandable that you have concerns about a matter that could hold uncertainty as to how it would be handled in terms of legal costs. At the very least, you could reach out to attorneys to see if they would discuss in a brief initial consult without charge. Using an image or likeliness without the subject's authorization could be legally actionable - the copyright and intellectual property attorneys here who deal with image rights issues could possess the best insights there. In reaching out to an attorney, you might also be able to identify applicable jurisdictional issues, based on whether you are in the U.S., you are overseas, etc. You could use the tab above (Find-a-Lawyer) or search for attorneys on your own. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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