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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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Im a professional musician of some statue on a national level.

Resolved Question:

I'm a professional musician of some statue on a national level. Is it illegal for a band I used to perform with to use my likeness in the newspaper in advertising without my permission!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be happy to answer your question.

Can you please provide me with more information related to what the band is doing related to advertising that makes you believe that they are using and image of someone who closely resembles you?

Also, what does advertising state?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Just viewed a picture of an advertisement for a free concert in the Billings Gazette with me onstage with the band taken from a previous year. The Name of the band is the Mission Mountain Wood Band.... there is no doubt that the picture includes my image.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Dear XXXXXtian,

Thank you for your follow up.

Is there any claim or statement in this advertising that you would be participating in this concert?

Also was this photo taken when you were part of the band?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The advertisement does not specifically mention my name. Yes, the photo was taken while I was in the band.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Dear XXXXXtian,

Was there any type of a partnership or other agreement at any point between the band members which would address this particular issue of using a photo of band member without member's consent or after the member is no longer part of the band?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
There is nothing in place currently on paper. What I'd really like to do is stop them from using my image because it's not the same band without me.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Dear XXXXXtian, Thank you for your follow up. Interestingly, the very similar legal issue was raised in a case related to Doors and the late XXXXX XXXXXon Densmore v. Mazarek, 2008 WL(NNN) NNN-NNNN(Ca;.APP 2 Dist.) and while that case dealt with many different issues, the use of the photo / image of late XXXXX XXXXXon was one of them.

 

The court sustained an injunction against using Morrison’s name, likeness, voice or image to promote defendants’ band. Here the court turned performance critic: “From an artistic or musical perspective, briefly displaying a photograph of Morrison during or immediately prior to a concert adds nothing to the performance and is, in fact, not a part of the performance.”

 

Court has ruled that under the injunction, defendants can use Morrison’s likeness for any “legitimate” purpose, “such as an account of the history of The Doors, or in telling the story of 20th century rock and roll. The only act it prohibits is using Morrison’s name and likeness to promote appellants’ band or their concerts.”

 

So basically, the same concept would apply to your situation, as what your former band is doing, can constitute false advertising, among many other legal issues and I would suggest that you do consult and retain a local entertainment law attorney, who can send a cease and deceased notice to the band and demand for them to stop using your image in any concert / performance promotions.

 

I wish you the best of luck!

Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12323
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney
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