Keith Laker of Icondia in Guernsey answers some commonly asked questions about Guernsey's game changing new image rights law.

On the pitch and off the pitch the football player's personality is becoming of ever increasing value and, so is the need to protect it: the new Image Rights law developed in the Bailiwick of Guernsey can be a very useful means to achieve this. Unique in that it has been created specifically to protect one's persona, this recently introduced law covers every aspect of a personality, be it a photograph, a mannerism, a particular look or style, or even a catch phrase.

What exactly are 'Image Rights' – a misleading term?

Keith Laker: You could be forgiven for thinking that the term 'Image Rights' means literally – the rights associated with a picture or photograph, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth – Image Rights relate to ANY aspect of a personality that is unique and distinctive to that individual.

For Tommy Cooper - his fez or his laugh; for John Cleese - his iconic funny walk; and, in the world of football, for Sir Alex - his distinctive Scots accent; for José Mourinho - his title 'The Special One'; the list goes on and on .....

Surely one's personality is protected under existing laws?

KL: Laws such as copyright and trademark law, originally introduced over 100 years ago by the way, were never created with the specific intention of protecting one's personality. As a result, these laws are not well-suited to protecting something as complex and dynamic as a personality, leading to considerable uncertainty and expense when litigation is involved.

The Image Rights law has been developed over the last 10 years with the sole purpose of bringing clarity, simplicity and effectiveness when it comes to protecting all aspects of one's personality. It's a bit like having a multi-tool penknife in your pocket – ready for all sorts of situations you can't quite foresee. And this Image Rights law has been developed so that registration of personality should sit comfortably alongside any other arrangements that may already be in place.

Why register a person's 'Image Rights' – what's the point?

KL: Because it's simple - and it has the potential to protect every single distinctive aspect of a personality. And, getting there first can make all the difference; if two or more people attempt to register the same characteristic feature, you can guess who gets the benefit!

Is registration easy – what's involved?

KL: Using Icondia, the registration process is usually very straightforward and simple. We work alongside agents, lawyers or other advisors and aim to look after every detail of the registration process leaving you free to get on with

your main business. And it's not expensive, with the registration fee equating to a cost from less than £1 a day!

So do give Image Rights Registration some serious thought – it can save time, save money and most

importantly could be of real value to your client! As we say in our ad: 'You'd be nuts not to!'.

Originally published in FC Business, November 2013.

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