New viral highlights "misrepresentation"
A new viral image comprising a pair of mock advertisements points out the dangers of misrepresentation in Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing. The image, “Only The Best”, is apolitical and not derogatory: the text reads “When only the very best is good enough”, Google-translated into Russian and Chinese.
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In the UK, the use of images of people in advertisements and thereby endorsing products and services must have their subjects’ prior permission in the form of industry-standard signed Model Releases, which act as a contract between the subject and photographer.
If orphan images are used in advertising, it cannot be known whether their subjects have given permission in this way. Furthermore, there is no-one for a subject to sue for damages if their image is used in a way in which they don’t agree and have not or would not give permission. By definition, the photographers who created the photographs and hold the model releases if they exist, cannot be found.
There is nothing wrong with vodka or skin-care products. However, given their prominent public positions in the UK, it is unlikely that either Lord Mandelson or David Cameron would have given permission for their portraits to be used to endorse these products in such a way - these “advertisements” are likely to misrepresent their views.
Welcome to the future, Gentlemen, if you allow Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill to become law.