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QLD Past Client & Employee Photos - Still Use?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by GregW, 16 December 2014.

  1. GregW

    GregW Member

    16 December 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi lawguru's,

    My friend is a top Personal Trainer/Body transformation Specialist one of his clients who came to him was in average person slightly overweight condition, he took this person under his guidance and transformed the person into a world class athlete winning local, state, national and eventually world titles in bodybuilding. Since then the person was employed as a trainer by my friend and has eventually left his employment to start their own personal training business, the former employee now says that my friend can no longer use her image in his advertising / social media as it is misleading to the public?

    Any thoughts on intellectual property law or employment law?

  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi Greg,

    If you intend to use photographs of another person for a "commercial purpose" (i.e. to sell something) and you don’t have consent from the persons you need to be careful as they may have grounds to compel you to remove their photo. Generally, it is recommended that you obtain a signed release from the subjects that appear in your photographs to ensure you have authorisation to use their image. Obviously it doesn't sound as though she will be forthcoming with this so I would err on the side of caution and not use it as per her request.
    Sarah J likes this.
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi Greg,

    I agree with Sophea above. Even if your friend caused his client's body transformation, your friend cannot use any photographs or identify the client in any way without that client's consent. The consent should be in the form of a written and signed waiver/license/consent and should specify a time period (conditional vs. unconditional release). If the client previously gave your friend verbal consent and it was not specified that it was an unconditional release, and the client now wishes to withdraw this consent, he is within his rights to do so and your friend should cease using the client's photograph. Your friend should also not identify the client in any public way without that client's consent. Whilst it may not necessarily be illegal to identify the client, it may adversely affect his business, which I imagine would be built on an element of discretion.
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