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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
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What is the legal definition of Editorial Use versus Commercial

Resolved Question:

What is the legal definition of "Editorial Use" versus "Commercial Use" for images of politicians and celebrities. And, is the law different for politicians? Are politicians images considered public domain?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.
What state are you in? What is the purpose of the website? What will the image of a policitian or celebrity add to the site?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am in Washington State, however, website will be available to users everywhere.


The site is called AskPolitics. Take a look at this design link and you will get a sense of what the concept and how images will be used.


In addition to politicians we want to use images of political figures, such as but not limited to, Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews.


My understanding is that images can be legally bought and used for editorial purposes. I alos read that editorial purposes is defined as being; newsworthy, educational, historical or generally conveys information about an event, place or activity.


We believe that the questions being asked by our users in themselves are educational and covey's information about political activity. We also plan on having political news feeds delivered in real time to the site. Additionally, each images would have a link to a historical bio on the political figure and we can even put a link to the political figures website.


Let us know what you think and please do not forward the link we sent you without our written permission.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.
Before providing an answer I have another question. I visited the site. Who is answering the questions under each political figure? Is there any cost associated with participating in this site? Is there any commercial aspect to the site?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The users will vote on the favorite text and video questions. The question with the most votes will be submitted by email or by written letter to the political figure. The political figure will know that say 100,000 people selected the question being presented to them as a question they would like answered. If the political figures answers we will post the answer. There is no gauranty they will answer and our users will be aware of this. We are hoping the power of numbers will influence the political figure to answer the question.


There is no cost to ask a question or to join the community or the site. We are not selling any images. The only revenue to the site will be from advertisers placing ads on various pages of the website.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.
The definition of editorial use versus commercial use is not easily provided.
Editorial use of a photograph is found in a newsworthy item. Newsworthiness is a First Amendment, freedom of the press, interest and is broadly construed. Newsworthiness is not limited to dissemination of news in the sense of current events, but can include all types of factual, educational and historical data, or even entertainment and amusement, concerning interesting phases of human activity in general.

Commercial use of a photograph usually occurs when the picture of the person has been used for advertising, endorsements and commercial purposes. Basically, if the use is not editorial then it could be considered commercial and its use would be an invasion of a form of right of privacy.

I have looked at the site and believe that it will qualify as editorial use of the images because it provides information about them and seeks to get them to respond to questions.

The rules for politicians and celebrities are essentially the same. Basically you are seeking to get celebrities and politicians to respond to questions because of the numbers of people who would like the answer.

If this answer is responsive to your question, please accept it. That is how we are compensated. I would also be appreciated if you provided feed back on your view of the answer. Finally, if the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus. If I can be of further assistance or you have other questions in the future you can ask for me and reach me at this site.

This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9088
Experience: 30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
Richard - Bizlaw and 2 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Could you please tell me the name and business/legal backfground information on the person who answered my question.

Thank you.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.
That type of personal information is not available. However, I have had almost 40 years of legal experience and have worked in Wall street law firms and handled litigation ranging into the billions of dollars. I have also practiced in a law firm that specialized in information technologies, including early internet participants. I hope that is helpful.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Your site was asking me to pay $38.00 more. That wasnot for the last question I asked about backgrond, correct?
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.
Not to my knowledge the last post was just part of the original question.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK. Thank you again for your assistence. How do I request you personally in the future should I want to ask you additional questions?
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 years ago.
Just ask for bizlaw when you see the icon for select your expert. Thank you for accepting my answer and good luck on your venture.

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