<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ilovewaffles:
I live and work in Michigan. I was "laid-off" from my old job and they have set up a website. While I was working there, they had a professional photographer take all employees photos for the purpose of using on this website. I can't remember if I signed a release form. However, since I am no longer working there, I would prefer that they don't use my image & profile. Can I require them to take me off of the website? I am not happy about the way that I was treated.
[This message has been edited by ilovewaffles (edited April 07, 2000).]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
First, be very nice to whomever you write to at your former company, and ask if they will send you a copy of any "release" you signed -"for your records." Despite such "release" however, it may not be valid because if you were not paid for the "use" of the photograph, then you might have a "voidable" contract with them. Why? If no valid "consideration" - e.g., money, passed from them, to you, in exchange for the photograph's "use", then there is no contract. However, if you signed a release, and you were paid, then they own that, particular, photograph and may use the same pursuant to the terms and conditions of the "Release."
If there is no release, or if any release has expired, check to see if Michigan has a similar law to the following California law and see an attorney:
3344. (a) Any person who knowingly uses another's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any manner, on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling, or
soliciting purchases of, products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person's prior consent, or, in the case of a minor, the prior consent of his parent or legal guardian, shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof. In addition, in any action brought under this section, the
person who violated the section shall be liable to the injured party or parties in an amount equal to the greater of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) or the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the unauthorized use, and any profits from the unauthorized use that are attributable to the use and are not taken into account
in computing the actual damages. In establishing such profits, the injured party or parties are required to present proof only of the gross revenue attributable to such use, and the person who violated
this section is required to prove his or her deductible expenses. Punitive damages may also be awarded to the injured party or parties.
The prevailing party in any action under this section shall also be entitled to attorney's fees and costs.
(b) As used in this section, "photograph" means any photograph or photographic reproduction, still or moving, or any videotape or live television transmission, of any person, such that the person is
(1) A person shall be deemed to be readily identifiable from a photograph when one who views the photograph with the naked eye can reasonably determine that the person depicted in the photograph is the same person who is complaining of its unauthorized use.
(2) If the photograph includes more than one person so identifiable, then the person or persons complaining of the use shall be represented as individuals rather than solely as members of a definable group represented in the photograph. A definable group includes, but is not limited to, the following examples: a crowd at any sporting event, a crowd in any street or public building, the audience at any theatrical or stage production, a glee club, or a
(3) A person or persons shall be considered to be represented as members of a definable group if they are represented in the photograph solely as a result of being present at the time the photograph was taken and have not been singled out as individuals in any manner.
(c) Where a photograph or likeness of an employee of the person using the photograph or likeness appearing in the advertisement or
other publication prepared by or in behalf of the user is only incidental, and not essential, to the purpose of the publication in which it appears, there shall arise a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence that the failure to obtain the consent of the employee was not a knowing use of the employee's photograph or likeness.
(d) For purposes of this section, a use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness in connection with any news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account, or any political campaign, shall not constitute a use for which consent is required under subdivision (a).
(e) The use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness in a commercial medium shall not constitute a use for which consent is required under subdivision (a) solely because the material containing such use is commercially sponsored or contains paid advertising. Rather it shall be a question of fact whether or not the use of the person's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness was so directly connected with the commercial sponsorship or
with the paid advertising as to constitute a use for which consent is required under subdivision (a).
(f) Nothing in this section shall apply to the owners or employees of any medium used for advertising, including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines, radio and television networks and stations, cable television systems, billboards, and transit ads, by whom any advertisement or solicitation in violation of this section is
published or disseminated, unless it is established that such owners or employees had knowledge of the unauthorized use of the person's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness as prohibited by this section.
(g) The remedies provided for in this section are cumulative and shall be in addition to any others provided for by law."
Good luck to you.
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