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Publication

Commerciƫle exploitatie van de menselijke afbeelding, naam en stem

Book - Dissertation

On 18 December 2017, French newspapers reported that an anonymous photographer tried to sell pictures of the mortal remains of rock-star Johnny Hallyday who died ten days earlier. Although the attempt caused widespread indignation, it was only another illustration of the lucrative market that has formed around the personality of public figures.The project researches the legal framework governing the commercial exploitation of the image, name and voice as personality aspects. Commercialization can occur when an individual deliberately exploits his own personality or authorizes exploitation by another party (raising questions as to the legal nature, validity requirements, interpretation and enforcement of such agreements). Often however, third parties exploit the personality of living or dead persons without authorization. In these cases, the personality rights of the victim are infringed, unless conflicting fundamental rights justify it (e.g. the right to free speech). The research addresses the issues of balancing of interests and sanctioning mechanisms. It focuses in particular on infringements through digital technology.Due to the shared historic origins of our legal systems, Belgian law is profoundly influenced by French law. Still, since legislators on both sides have limited themselves to piecemeal and fragmentary codification of the issue, the ensuing legal uncertainty has resulted in diverging solutions in jurisprudence and academic literature. Consequently, a better understanding of the respective challenges and solutions are mutually beneficiary for both sides. The project therefore entails an in-depth comparative research of Belgian and French law, and, in subsidiary order, Dutch, German and Swiss law.
Publication year:2021