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Posted: 6/10/2001 4:47:57 PM EDT
My brothers boxer dog, Gunner, is well known by most Knob Creek goers. He often gets his picture taken at Knob Creek, and has been on several web sites. I was surfing the other day and found it on the "About Us" page of the Anti-Defamation League's Militia Watchdog site, which for those of you who don't know, is an anti-militia, somewhat anti-rights web site. Obviously we would prefer that Gunner's image not be used by anti-gunners in furtherance of their cause. We do not know who actually took the photo that's on the web site. My question is what should we do? Just e-mail them and ask them to take it down, if so on what basis? Or legal action or what? Thanks
Link Posted: 6/10/2001 5:28:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2001 5:32:11 PM EDT by shaggy]
Sorry to say, but it sounds like you're SOL. Copyrightable material is any original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Your dog is not an original work of authorship. But before I go so far as to say you're completely SOL, let me ask you this; who took the picture? The picture IS copyrightable material. If they copied your picture, or copied it from someone else without authorization or license, they can be held liable.
Link Posted: 6/11/2001 5:08:57 AM EDT
Nice collar on Gunner. Kharn
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 2:59:19 PM EDT
Hmmmm, At first I thought you were SOL, and for practical purposes you may be. You should email them and politely ask them to remove the picture. The request should come from your brother. If the picture was of a person it would be easier since a dog is considered property. I wouldn't discuss whether your politics differ from thiers either. I think this could be construed as using your property to promote thier site. Since they use the word "watchdog" and refer to a somewhat similar drawing of a dog referred to as "Sparky the Militia Watchdog." It migh be inferred your dog is the "Sparky" they refer to. They are probably relying on "fair use" which is vastly different between commercial and news type organizations. If you don't give them any reasons for giving you a hard time, IE being pushy, threatening, informing them your political beliefs may be quite different than theirs. They might just acquiesce. If they don't, you'll have to see a lawyer, which could be more hassle than it's worth.
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 4:52:16 PM EDT
Just noticed this: Copyright, all rights reserved.Ê Contents of this website may be used only with permission from the Anti-Defamation League. They may be claiming copyright on the picture of your dog, you might ask them where they got the picture, somebody might be selling it. Again it is different for news and commercial. Lets say you take a picture of Madonna on the street. You can sell that picture for news or as a celebrity type photo. That doesn't give you the right to sell the photo to Ford Motor Co. for use in their next auto campaign. So it is seen as how the picture is being used. Again if they deny your first request you'd need to see a lawyer to persue it. The fact that you have allowed others to publish pictures of the dog on the web site and it's "celebrityness" might also come into play.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 11:31:29 AM EDT
This is a great thought - nailing the ADL for trying to coopt Gunner. I'm not an attorney, but....... I'm not so sure you're out of luck, or rather your brother. I think there's a concept of 'appropriation of image', which is why when the news team comes to school to interview some teacher in the classroom, they try to get the parents to sign a permission/authorization. By image, I mean Gunner's look , not just the photo itself, though that may be another angle. Then there's possible 'privacy' invasion, but it might be tough to argue the privacy of an animal that routinely relieves himself in public...... Since your brother's dog has become sort of a web star on other sites, probably with express permission (even if verbal) he may need to get some intellectual property attorney to tell him how to protect and control the use of Gunner's image. If he can't find one, maybe an actor's booking agency can help him look. There may also be self-help (like 'Nolo Press') books on the matter with good advice and even form letters (though I would retype & avoid any kind of appearance of a form letter), though you often wind up wondering about whether the attorney would be better. But your brother is the one who should control the use of his dog's image & likeness. To keep the ADL from claiming copyright on Gunner's image, your brother should challenge them as soon as he's gotten some advice on how to do that. It may also help to formalize any existing permitted uses and get some compensation (get advice on how to structure this)so that the ADL can not claim that it is being given away. Since a lot of wacko liberals are probably visiting the site and admiring the dog, maybe a per-visit rate is in order. I wouldn't be surprised if they just take it down on demand. [red][size=4] P.R.K.
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