The right of publicity evolved out of the right of privacy in the United States, and is still often referred to as a "subset" of privacy rights. Roughly defined, it is the right to charge for (or bar entirely) the commercial exploitation of name, likeness, voice or "personality." By some definitions, it only applies to commercial advertising. By others, it is broader, and applies to any commercial exploitation, including such things as t-shirts.
By the broadest definition, the right of publicity is the right of every individual to control any commercial use of his or her name, image, likeness, or some other identifying aspect of identity, limited (under U.S. law) by the First Amendment. The right of publicity can be referred to as publicity rights or even personality rights.
Personality rights are generally considered to consist of two types of rights: the right to publicity, or to keep one's image and likeness from being commercially exploited without permission or contractual compensation, which is similar to the use of a trademark; and the right to privacy, or the right to be left alone and not represent one's personality publicly without permission. In common law jurisdictions, publicity rights fall into the realm of the tort of passing off. United States jurisprudence has substantially extended this right.
Personality rights and free licensesEdit
With such rights a photograph of a person, the copyright holding photographer must also have the informed consent of the subject before the photo may be released under such a license. Licenses like CC-BY-NC (hence CC-BY-NC-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA) that do not release the copyright for commercial usage, may be an exception to this requirement.
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