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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I'm in the state of NY - I have a hair accessory business

Customer Question

Hi there- I'm in the state of NY - I have a hair accessory business and often provide baby photographers with products to use for their shoots in exchange for images. As of this week, I had a very angry mother who emailed me requesting I remove images of her daughter because I did not ask her permission. I did remove images across social media, website, etc- but she is incessantly emailing me.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No but she's thrown it out there that she is a lawyer
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That is all
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me:

1) Do you know if the photographer keeps intellectual property of the shots they use? Or it goes to the models? Or, not sure?

2) What are you asking here, i.e. what do you wish to know?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
1- The photographer signs a print release with the parents. It is my understanding that she does not provide a copyright release. The parent has said that I cannot use her daughter's "likeness" to promote my product without her permission.
2- It was my understanding that since I provide photog with products free of charge- that she would in turn provide me with images from photoshoots. These are images that the photog has on her social media as well. The parent's last email to me- asked if I "take" the photos from the photographers website, etc. I certainly have not "taken"- I've asked the photog for images and she sends to me.
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your reply. Even if she never expressly provided a release for likeness, the point is that the photographer kept the IP rights to the photos. Assuming this is true, and assuming that the contract he had with the family allowed him to use the photos as he wanted, it is he that can give/sell those photos - to you.

So assuming the above is true, there is no liability under invasion of privacy (appropriation of likeness) or an intellectual property claim, since the photo belonged to the photographer.

However, it may not be best to use such photos regardless until you have a clear confirmation that your photographer friend has the right to the photos which he is giving to you.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!