Portrait rights of public figures
- Griet Verfaillie
- Portrait rights , public figures , personality rights , image , Football , license agreement , photograph , picture
The NPO RBFA had opposed against the use of the image of the Red Devils on the cover of the
yearbook Football 2012-2013 since the publisher Van Halewyck did not ask for the permission of the
NPO RBFA, let alone that it had entered into a license agreement for the use of the photograph.
As mentioned earlier on our website, the portrait right of a public figure is limited by the right of information, which is tied to the freedom of speech and the freedom of press. The image of a public figure can, without his consent, only be used for information purposes.
The informative content of the book, makes the picture of the Red Devils used on the cover
informative as well. The rise of the Red Devils has been newsworthy during the season 2012-2013.
Hence, the author, who is informing the public of these events, has to be able to illustrate the
cover of his book with the image of the Red Devils.
The fact that the yearbook is truly informative and concerns a journalistic work has been a decisive factor
It is important in this judgement that the Court stipulates that given that the publisher Van
Halewyck has pursued profits by selling the book, does not prevent that the use of the picture of
the Red Devils is informative and can therefore be used, without consent of the players concerned,
nor the administrator of the personality rights of the players in question.
The Court decided as well that the variation in the book, between the overview of the football year 2012-2013 and interviews with people who have nothing to do with football, is not detrimental to the informative nature of the book. According to Court, the intention of the book is to inform the public.
The fact that the yearbook is truly informative and concerns a journalistic work, has apparently been a decisive factor.