Posts Tagged: "image rights"

Stars, Paparazzi, and the Puzzling Law of Copyrights

Picture this: A paparazzo snaps an unauthorized photo of a celebrity and sells it to a media outlet, making a tidy profit. As unfair as that may sound to the celebrity, most stars are well-aware of the established law that a photograph—even an unwanted one—can be monetized by the paparazzi. The law also is clear that, absent permission, the celebrity cannot monetize the photograph herself. Photographs, like other works of art, can be copyrighted by the paparazzi and, as with copyright, the owner possesses the famed “bundle of rights,” including the right to prohibit others from displaying the photograph for money.

Legal and Practical Implications for Athletes and Schools Following NCAA’s New Policy

On June 30, the NCAA issued an interim policy that will allow athletes at all divisions of the NCAA to “take advantage of name, image, and likeness [NIL] opportunities.” There are several legal and practical implications that flow from this interim policy change. A college athlete can now use his or her name, image, and likeness for commercial gain. While not exactly endless, the possibilities are massive. Presumably, athletes can now license their name to promote sports brands (think Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Gatorade to name just a few)…. By some estimates, the sports merchandising market over the last few years hovered around $15 billion. It’s about to get a lot bigger very soon.    

Amateurism for Assets: NCAA to Allow Student Athletes to ‘Benefit’ from Personal Intellectual Property

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently took a step toward letting student athletes “benefit” from use of their name, image, and likeness. The move comes after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a Fair Pay to Play Act allowing collegiate athletes in the Golden State to accept endorsement deals once the law takes effect in January 2023. On Tuesday, October 29, the NCAA’s Board of Governors voted “unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image, and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.” The key phrase here is “in a manner consistent with the collegiate model,” which invokes the NCAA’s commitment to the nebulous tenet of “amateurism.” Pragmatically, this vote amounts to two things for student athletes. First, this process will not happen immediately: the Board set a deadline of January 2021 for changing the rules. Second, and most notably, the Board carefully refused to acknowledge or confirm that student athletes would actually be paid. In other words, this vote is merely a shuffle in the direction of college athlete compensation by way of their “right of publicity.”