Rod Stewart latest celebrity sued for using an image of himself

Copyright protection in images is a hot topic and the subject of the majority of copyright disputes.

One theme of such disputes is celebrities being subject to a copyright infringement claim for using an image of themselves.

Singer Rod Stewart is the latest to be hit with this.

The photo in question was of Stewart and his former girlfriend, taken in the 60’s but used by Stewart as part of a stage backdrop for the BBC2’s ‘Live in Hyde Park A Festival in a Day’ in 2015.

The claim was filed by Julia McLeallan on behalf of the McLellans agency for £9,999.99, who acknowledged that the photo was taken by a former friend of Stewart’s, but they obtained the copyright protection in the image in 2004.

It is unclear how the copyright was transferred to her.

The claim went on to outline that Stewart’s lawyers were approached in 2015 for a fee to use the image but the request was refused.

In response, Stewart’s team said the use of the image was innocent, brief and incidental, as the photo was used for 8 seconds in amongst hundreds of others.

While the matter was accepted to proceed, the judge urged the parties to come to a settlement through mediation which highlights the unstable nature of the dispute.

This is one to watch as it may have an impact on future similar cases.

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