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The Media may not use celebrity images to “bait” their readership if the content of the posts has no connection with the celebrity portrayed.

The case was based on a post on the Facebook page of a magazine. There, the link to a report about a presenter’s cancer disease was shared. Next to the link, the magazine posted pictures of four prominent presenters with the headline: “One of these TV presenters must retire due to CANCER”. However, information about the other three presenters was not found in the article.

In this case, the sole purpose of the celebrity pictures is to draw the reader’s attention to the article. Such use of celebrity photos as “clickbait” constitutes an interference on the celebrity’s right to his or her own image and may give rise to claims for damages. Such an interference is also unlawful, since no consent was given by the celebrity. From this point of view, the publication of the photos does not contribute to the formation of public opinion and is therefore to be classified as commercial and infringing exploitation.

If you would like to learn more about the topic of “click-baiting”, want to take action yourself against an infringement of your right to your own image or need legal advice regarding the legally secure use of images on the Internet, we will be happy to assist you.