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Copyright and Image

By: Jaime Israel Davila Gomez, Attorney

It is quite common in some types of works, such as audiovisual, photographic, or drawings, to find ourselves using the image of people other than the author or creator of the work. In these cases, it is necessary to take into account rules and rights other than those of the author.

As a first consideration, we have that whoever performs work with someone else’s image, for security, must always have the authorization, in writing preferably, of the person who is going to be portrayed, drawn or incorporated into the work; this authorization must be for the purposes of using their image, distributing it, and disseminating it publicly. Secondly, the person can revoke the said authorization at any time, always taking responsibility for the damages caused by such revocation. The revocation does not apply when the person has received remuneration in exchange, this last one is a matter of vital importance for the use of the image of people for advertising or business purposes. In other words, a person who has received money for the use of the image cannot revoke his authorization, as long as it is used as agreed and for this reason, it is very important to clearly indicate in a contract the general and specific uses of those who will use their image.

As an example, we have that if I pay a person to use their image for advertising purposes, and I point out that the advertising will be exclusively on digital platforms and I start using it in billboards or print advertising, those who gave me authorization to use their image, even if when they have received money can revoke the authorization by deviating me from the agreed terms and conditions. For this last reason, it is very important for companies and artists to detail the use allowed for their images.

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