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- A Channel Island first for image rights legislation
A Channel Island first for image rights legislation
The States of Guernsey - the island's
parliament - has approved the drafting of a new law that will
protect image rights and sees the introduction of registrable image
rights in time by the Olympic Games and the 2012/13 football
When enacted, the legislation will see
Guernsey take a world lead on the issue and provide a clear legal
code for image rights, enabling effective management while also
protecting the public interest, says intellectual property (IP)
specialist and joint managing partner at Channel Islands law firm
Collas Crill, Jason Romer.
Guernsey will be the first jurisdiction to have a registrable
image right when the legislation is passed (expected in early
2012). This legislation will allow celebrities, sports
professionals and teams and other media personalities to structure
their image rights inGuernsey, safe in the knowledge that there is
a clear legislative framework.
Mr Romer, who sits on the island's
Commercial IP Steering Group and the Drafting Sub-Committee, leads
the firm's team of IP specialists and is a director of Collas Crill
IP, the only IP registration company linked with a law firm in the
Image rights (or the 'right of
publicity') are generally recognised as the right to control the
commercial use of a person's identity and images associated with
that person including distinctive expressions, characteristics or
The importance and value of those rights
have become an increasingly controversial topic, the latest
instalment being the UK debate over the role of super injunctions
as public figures seek to exercise significant control over the use
of their image in the media. A super-injunction stops anyone
publishing information about the applicant which is said to be
confidential or private - but also prevents anyone from reporting
that the injunction itself even exists.
Mr Romer said: "The judiciary in the UK
have called for parliament to define this type of right and to
establish the parameters around the protection of an individual's
image. The development of a registrable image right goes a long way
to address this concern.Guernsey has been ahead of the game in this
respect and the States of Guernsey, Commerce and Employment and the
Intellectual Property Office should be congratulated on their
vision and approach.
"The development of an image rights
register will be a world first and places Guernsey in a unique
position worldwide and this should bring with it additional revenue
and income diversification.
"With the legislation soon on its way, now is the time to review
how the legislation is likely to benefit those who want to control
the way their own image is used and to begin planning for the
opportunities that will arise.
Mr Romer added: "This legislation will
define the rights of an individual to protect their own image and
balance those against the freedom of news reporting and the public
The States of Guernsey approved the
drafting of the law today (30 September 2011). It is estimated
that, subject to approval and consultation, the drafting time
should take about four months.