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Old 05-20-2002, 07:02 PM   #1
kryton
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Default Legal rights to use celebrities

Hello everyone,

I would be grateful for you advice. I created an ECards site, and all my images of celebrities are from Art.com, which I am allowed to use. A company called CMG WorldWide, has asked me to stop using all their clients. http://www.cmgww.com/clients.html. Do they have a right to tell me to stop using them? They have only contacted me via email.

I would be grateful for your advise.
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:52 PM   #2
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It could be depending on what you use them for.
In most cases one could site theFirst ammendment ("freedom of the press") as a legal and valid reason to "use" a celebrity.

Last edited by Anion; 05-20-2002 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:59 PM   #3
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Using celebrity images in an Ecard fashion could be construed to be using anothers likeness to promote a product service/lifestyle idea without their consent. Thats not a copyright issue but a different sort of issue. If you use an image from art.com and use it to describe the celebrity and show who they are, or use them to help sell licensed merchandise like art.com sells then there is probably is no valid copyright issue there.
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by firstmark
If you use an image from art.com and use it to describe the celebrity and show who they are, or use them to help sell licensed merchandise like art.com sells then there is probably is no valid copyright issue there.
That is what I am doing, and all images are from Art.com. But I also allow ecards to be sent of the images, but all over the cards I have in association with Art.com. And you are able to buy the photo, etc from Art.com from the ECard..
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:29 PM   #5
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My view on the matter is that if you take an image from a movie or tv show or celebrity performance and use the image to tell about the given work that is generally fair use. If you take a picture of an item you are trying to sell you can display it even if it is a picture of a copyrighted picture.

Personally you are just trying to sell photos it appears in a nice "dressed up fashion." Since parts of your site appear to be nothing but images perhaps that company still deems your use of the images is damaging to their represented personalities. The way your ecards are sent results in just a url being sent where the image can be retrieved, perhaps that is considered spam by the company and don't want their represented client names associated with that. If your ecards service is utilized a lot that might be the reason.

Ask them why they don't appear to sell licensed images on behalf of the personalities they represent, and tell them that sites like yours would be happy to sell them in addition to the licensed/publicity posters and photos you sell of their clients via your affiliation with art.com.

I would be interested to see a copy of the letter they sent you and to find out why exactly they object to your display of the images specifically. Perhaps private message it to me via this forum. Have them clarify their reasons if they haven't.
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:38 PM   #6
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Of course using too many pictures or video clips from a given work pushes the bounds of fair use.
Publishing a collection of publicity stills meant to be used for publicity in book format for profit also is not fair use even though the images were released for the purposes of promotion.
If one receives a press kit for a movie one can use the photos to dress up stories but I doubt it is allowable to create prints of the photos and sell those yourself.

It is wise to use images in a context ie; this photos are from the Spiderman movie, rather than here are a lot of Brittany Spears photos from many productions and many photographers that can not be named. Profiting off a licensed image for resale in a manner beyond that of selling the image or describing the work it is used to promote is also hard to say is fair use or not.

Basically using licensed photos for sale to promote an email refer a friend service or a site itself which is what ecards are is perhaps not fair use also. In a way an ecard service utilizing celebrity photos could be construed to be using the celebrities themselves as mini spokesman. It depends on how a company interpretes things. Of course such discussions are for courts and lawyers and all the good things people like to avoid.
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:44 PM   #7
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I looked at one of the companies sites and found


"We work with companies around the world who wish to use the name or likeness of Marilyn Monroe in any commercial fashion. The words and the signature "Marilyn Monroe" are trademarks owned and protected by the estate, Marilyn Monroe, LLC. In addition, the image, name, and voice of Marilyn Monroe is a protectable property right owned by the estate. Any use of the above, without the express written consent of the estate is strictly prohibited."

So they are indeed looking at the implied endorsement of utilizing the images of their celebrities on ecard and other sites like yours.

Offer them a link and disclaimer, and the free publicity that your site offers their personalities and that will probably satisfy them.
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for your advice FirstMark. I've removed all their clients. I had always believed the legal problems with running celebrity type sites, were from those people who just take images from all over the internet.

At the end of the day, I'd rather sell some Fine Art from Art.com than a Marilyn Monroe poster anyway.
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:51 PM   #9
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Kryton did you notice that the company had an ecard service link on their Marilyn Monroe domain http://www.marilynmonroe.com/ecard.html that states

"Please check back! This new feature is coming soon! "

Thats typical big stupid company thinking, try to shut down ecard sites when you yourself have a link to an ecard service on one of your own domains that does not even work. Hey maybe you can offer your paid services to install a working ecard script for them or sublease space out on your site with your art.com images. Considering they are big and stupid you might get $10,000 for an hours work. Since they know you have a quality ecard site that "threatens their existance" they might think you understand the ecard game better than anyone.
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Old 05-21-2002, 02:52 PM   #10
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I've been reading Art.com's FAQ's and this is interesting........

Q: Are your images copyrighted? If so, is it legal for me to display them on my site?

A: Yes, Art.com images are copyrighted, but it is legal for you to display them on your site. We are licensed to display our images to sell them. As an Affiliate, those rights are extended to you. You will not be breaking any laws as long as the images are used as links to their respective products and if you mention that you are "In Association with Art.com."
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Old 05-22-2002, 02:18 PM   #11
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I was wondering, did you ask/tell Art.com about this incident.

I understand your reasoning + decision, but I am just curious to know if they had made any comment, especially seeing as these images they provide (right?) ?
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:11 AM   #12
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It depend on what you are using.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:55 AM   #13
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Using superstar pictures in an Ecard style could be considered to be using anothers similarity to advertise a item service..
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:48 AM   #14
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Using celebrity images in an Ecard fashion could be construed to be using anothers likeness to promote a product service/lifestyle idea without their consent.
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