The government of the island of Guernsey has today, 28 November 2012, passed legislation which will allow for the registration of Image Rights. This legislation, the Image Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance 2012, is billed as being 'the world's first registrable image right', and promises to 'define the rights of an individual to protect their own image and balance those against the freedom of news reporting and the public interest'.

An image right protects certain definable aspects of an entity's image and personality, including distinctive expressions, traits, likenesses or attributes. Qualifying personalities will include both living and deceased persons and could extend to some non-human entities, such as fictional characters. The new legislation in Guernsey, which will come into force on3 December 2012, is intended to afford rights to prevent third parties from using such definable features in order to sell something, where this commercial exploitation is viewable in Guernsey (for instance, on the internet). The holder of the image right could potentially apply for a worldwide injunction to stop those image rights being infringed, via the Guernsey courts.

It is hoped by the legislators that registered image rights will provide personalities such as film stars, sports professionals, musicians and celebrities with a legally-recognized asset which enables the effective management and control of the commercial use of their identities. 

Should you require any further information in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.