Does the Client Have Standing?

Example: A client hires you to take pictures of a model. You own the copyrights to the photos, but the client subsequently tells you to not use the photos because you don’t have a model release. Is the claim legally valid? Probably not.

For threats to be legally effective, the complainer must have “standing.” Standing is the legal principle that a persons only may make claims for their own rights and not for someone else. In the scenario above, unless the model is an employee of the client, the client has no standing to complain about your use of the model’s right of publicity. Only the model can sue you for possibly violating that right.

While you don’t want to anger clients, sometimes it’s best to stand up for your rights. Make sure that clients have standing to complain and a valid complaint before you succumb to their threats.

Take my advice; get professional help.

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