Monday, 25 November 2013

Image rights...a bit too much

Reading a little bit of showbiz section in the Colombia newspaper El Tiempo I found with surprise how much (or less) rights do you have when signing an image right contract. I presume that rights are given away for a good sum, but I never imagine the magnitude or better say, how wide they could be.

In this particular news the Colombian National Radio and Television ( RTVC ), commissioned by the Colombian Ministry of Labour , offered to the cycling star and peasants’ idol Nairo Quintana , to be the image of a campaign. The proposed campaign forms part of the new ‘Pacto Agrario’ (Agricultural Pact) run by the Government. At first Mr Quintana agreed but later on his manager Mr Libardo Leyton rejected any involvement with the campaign due to the cyclist’s image right being committed to Movistar (Nairo Quintana rides for the Movistar team). Movistar is one of the biggest mobile phone operators in Latin America, using its brand in more than 10 Latin America countries and operating under other brands in other countries. Does it mean that he cannot be the image of any other campaign? He is the image of a phone/telecommunications industry and what he has been approached for is a popular campaign for the people in the agricultural business, specifically farmworkers.
Nonetheless, RTVC then have another idea…hire the cyclist’s father!! That was the plan, which the father appeared to be accepted. However, Mr Libardo also noted that Mr Nairo’s father could not accept the campaign because the image rights owned by Movistar also included Mr Nairo Quintana’s father.

It is then presumed that his contract with the Movistar team has granted ‘exclusive’ rights to the mobile phone company. Yet, it is questionable the wide range of this said contract….binding another person (i.e. his father) who is not a party on the contract and who appeared not to know about this. OR..perhaps..well… this area is Greek to me.

Anyways, Nairo Quintana appears to be happy with the Movistar team since cycling news reports that Nairo will stay with Movistar for 2014 and Nairo’s brother Dayer will be joining the team.


Anonymous said...

Actually, in Colombia image rights are regulated (and not precariously). The issue that really matters is to understand how broad is the contractual freedom and which are the limits imposed by law to the parties.

Patricia Covarrubia said...

Can you be so kind as to provide the name of the said regulation? Here in the UK for example, they may be protected (rarely) under passig-off (latest case Rihanna v Topshop). In Guernsey, image rights can be even registered.
I do agree, the matter in this particular case is the contract between the parties (Movistar v Cyclist team)- I wonder if you have more information regarding the 'limits imposed by law' in this type of situation i.e. image rights.