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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are lots of posts about whether it is legal or illegal to print photos or likenesses of celebrities on shirts and I do understand that it is illegal to simply print an image of a celebrity in that regard.

However, I often see many brands distorting the image and printing it as such. An example might be to blur the face, cover the eyes, etc. In this way I suppose the argument is that you wouldn't be able to "tell" who it is (although obviously from the pose or the context one would automatically assume). Is this method valid?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does that change if the celebrity has passed away?

I suppose it comes down to chance whether or not the celebrity him/herself or an agent recognizes the image and even at that point whether or not they decide to pursue legal action. I guess I just don't understand how so many brands that actually sell nation wide (even internationally) can use photos without any issue. This is not to say that none get the necessary permission, but it's just interesting to see.
 

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Nope. Upon death, the rights are retained by the family or estate.

Many get permission, many don't. But any brand selling nation wide has the money to afford proper legal representation. So they either negotiate a license or are prepared to defend themselves in court. In some cases, like Shepard Fairey or T-shirt Hell, getting sued has made them more popular. Not exactly a business model I would recommend, but it does happen in some situations. The key to it all is having the financial backing to take the risk.
 

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kimura-mma said:
Nope. Upon death, the rights are retained by the family or estate.

Many get permission, many don't. But any brand selling nation wide has the money to afford proper legal representation. So they either negotiate a license or are prepared to defend themselves in court. In some cases, like Shepard Fairey or T-shirt Hell, getting sued has made them more popular. Not exactly a business model I would recommend, but it does happen in some situations. The key to it all is having the financial backing to take the risk.
Very true, the estate of Albert Einstein protects his images with legal means nessasary.
 
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