Picture of own staff in company advertising

If a person is photographed, he or she can object to the publication of that photo if the person has a reasonable interest in doing so. For celebrities this often comes down to financial interest. For ordinary people/staff, it is often about the right to privacy, protection of honor and reputation.


In 2017, an employee of Kolham Meubelhallen (Kolham furniture halls) was photographed for the company's advertising brochure. Less than a year later she switched jobs to a competitor. When Kolham re-uses one of the photos in a folder in 2019, the former employee objects, invoking her portrait right and claiming 5,000 euros in compensation for the publication against her will, as she no longer wishes to be associated with her previous employer.

The court agreed with her. Seeing that the employee had given permission for the photo shoot, she had basically renounced her portrait rights. However, that permission was strictly limited to use in advertising during employment.

As the employee started working for the competitor, the company should have checked whether the photos could still be used. As this was not done, the appeal to her portrait right is justified. However, the compensation is adjusted to € 500, because this concerns a limited use and the ex-employee is not renowned.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?