Our good friends at LivingwithaGolden.com explore the world through the eyes of their boys, Chuck Billy, and his little brother Asa. They blog about interesting places you can take your dogs, including dog friendly trails and beaches, as well as useful equipment for dog training and hiking with your dog. They frequently post pictures of Chuck Billy and Asa, both in the blog and on Twitter.
Imagine their surprise when they discovered two of their images being used as advertising for doggie treats in the UK!
The images in question….
Once again, someone did not discuss their marketing plan with their attorney. As I’ve noted in other posts, just because you post something online, it does not give a third party the right to use it without your permission. And in the case of marketing, it gives the false impression that the party in the image is endorsing the product. Asa and Chuck Billy have informed me that they have not given their endorsement to a UK doggie treat company! In addition to copyright infringement, individual states also recognize the right of publicity (using a famous person’s image for commercial purposes) and the tort of invasion of privacy by appropriating the name or likeness of an individual for commercial purposes (designed for non-celebrity “regular folk”…er…dogs.)
So when one steals an image that you’ve posted online, you have many options on how to deal with the situation, including demanding royalties in the form of a lifetime of doggie treats.