Can a photo be used without your permission?

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Can a photo be used without your permission?

I recently attended a small local pageant where a reporter posted as a mother and then published a story in the paper and used photos of the children;the faces were blotted out. I’m wondering if legal action can be taken against this reporter as my son was one of the photos used and I did not give permission for this?

Asked on August 11, 2011 Alaska

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The First Amendment to the Constitution, Freedom of the Press, protects the right of the press to report on a newsworthy event and take photos.  The First Amendment outweighs privacy concerns in this case. 

If this had not involved Freedom of the Press and had just been a person taking pictures without your consent and selling them, you would have a case for invasion of privacy.  Invasion of privacy includes the appropriation of one's name or likeness for commercial purposes.


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