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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3130
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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Is there a law against tattooing someones likeness on you without

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Is there a law against tattooing someones likeness on you without their consent? I guy in Town is getting a bunch of girls he knows around the local area tattooed all over his arms, my girlfriend is next on the list... we both don't want this to happen
Hello JACUSTOMER,

There is a common law right known as the "right to publicity." This right basically means that someone can not use a person's likeness without their consent for commercial purposes. Since it is really the tattoo artist who is making money ("commercial purposes") by putting your girlfriend's likeness on the man, you could bring a lawsuit against the tattoo artist. I think that is your best avenue for stopping this - I would go to the tattoo artist and tell him that if he uses your girlfriend's likeness you will bring a lawsuit against him for violating her right to publicity. And that will likely stop the tattoo artist.

Whether you can stop the man himself is questionable, unless he shows off the tattoo for commercial purposes. You could threaten him with an invasion of privacy lawsuit. But I don't think that invasion of privacy really applies in this situation. You really don't "own" you image for privacy purposes. It is only when someone tries to make money off of your image that the law allows a remedy. So, I would concentrate of the tattoo artists to get them to stop this activity.

Thomas
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