In a judgement published on 9 February 2015 (No. 1699/2015), the
judges of the specialized intellectual property ('IP')
Section of the Milan Court outlined the limits to the use of an
individual's image, in the absence of his/her consent.
The dispute arose following the commercial use, by RCS Mediagroup
S.p.A. ('RCS'), of some merchandising products through the
daily newspaper 'La Gazzetta dello Sport'. More
specifically, RCS marketed medals depicting the well-known former
football player, Gianni Rivera, DVD containing video clips of
football matches and interviews released inter alia by the
latter, and a photographic portfolio showing the same (both on and
off the pitch).
Gianni Rivera brought action against RCS, contending that the
commercial exploitation of his image rights without his prior
consent was unlawful.
The claim for damages was only partially upheld. In reaching this
conclusion, the Court drew the following distinction between the
various items merchandised by RCS:
The films, interviews and photographs, which represented the
claimant during or in connection with a match, pursued a mere
documentary-information purpose; consequently, according to art.
97, first paragraph of the Copyright Law (Law n. 633/1941) the use
of these materials was legitimate, even in the absence of the
consent of the person photographed;
Conversely, the use of Gianni Rivera's image in the medals
and photographs, which showed him on occasions which were unrelated
to his professional football activities, had a purely commercial
purpose and, as such, required the claimant's prior
This decision helped further clarify that the legitimacy of the
commercial exploitation of an individual's image without the
consent of the same depends on the actual goal of the exploiter and
must strictly abide by the limits set forth under art. 97 of
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
The former governing mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, a member of the German Social Democratic Party, SPD, has suffered a legal defeat in his year-plus battle with the German publishing house Axel Springer.
Securing effective legal protection for patents is a high priority for all businesses who seek the quick but safe entry of their new products into the commercial marketplace.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).