05 June 2013

Guernsey’s image rights register – registrations begin!

In the last issue of InDispute we looked at the new image rights law which was about to be introduced, giving Guernsey the world’s first Image Rights Register. The law is now in force and the Register is up and running. We have a look at how it is doing.


The Register opened for business on 3 December 2012 and Carey Olsen was delighted to be the first law firm in the world to register a personality on it.   The application was made on behalf of internationally acclaimed personal branding expert Lesley Everett (www.walkingtall.org), who is now the first person in the world to be registered under the new regime.  She enjoys unparalleled protection over the image she has registered and is able to stop others from taking unfair commercial advantage of her image. 

The new regime has attracted considerable worldwide interest and we have been busy promoting the regime in events in Guernsey, London and beyond.  Information about the new regime can be found on our website but you can also access the legislation and guidance notes issued by Guernsey's Intellectual Property Office via its website at www.ipo.guernseyregistry.com.  The Register itself is a public document and available for public viewing, so anyone interested can search to see who has registered their image and what images have been registered. After our world-first registration, the Registry has seen registrations from the field of music, celebrity hairdressing, sport, politics and beyond.   

You can find information about image rights in our briefing note which you can find on our website.  In summary, registration is available to natural persons, legal persons, joint personalities, groups and fictional characters on payment of a fee.  Registering an image right offers enhanced protection to anyone seeking to exploit their image through endorsement, sponsorship, appearance fees and the like, particularly if the right is then licensed through Guernsey.  Many operating in this field have identified the considerable gap between the reality of the significant commercial market in image rights and the absence of any adequate legal protection for that market.  Carey Olsen will be hosting a seminar on the image right legislation and how it works in practice later this year with international experts on image right protection, tax and personal branding.  

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