Publicity Rights are

Publicity Rights are rights to utilize names and portraits of celebrities as assets.
Names and portraits of celebrities have power to induce marketing of products when used in commercial purpose,
and celebrities hold rights to control financial profit and value which draw customers
(Pink Lady Case, Supreme Court, sentenced on February 2,2012).
When using pictures of celebrities, one must ask for permission, not from copy right holders only,
but also from the celebrities who are the photographic subjects.
Violators of Publicity Rights can be claimed for damages and demanded suspension

Publicity Rights Q&A

Q1. What is Idol Collage?
They are fake pictures made by replacing a celebrity's face with another person posing nude and such.
Recently, not only still pictures but video clips are also made using this technique.
Q2. Is it bad to make Idol Collage pictures and post them on a website?
It is a violation of Publicity Rights to use a celebrity's pictures without any permission.
Even if it is just a picture of his/her face, the use is still not consented.
Especially, such act as placing a composed nude picture where anyone can view could possibly lead to
negative image of the celebrity, even if the body in the picture is not of the celebrity.
Such incident is a big shock to the celebrity him/herself.
Q3. What kind of things do I have to be careful when making a website?
Publicity Rights are rights to utilize names and portraits of celebrities as assets.
Until a celebrity's name becomes a big selling tool of products through supports and response from many people,
not only the celebrity's talent and hard work, but also his/her production agent's ability to grow the celebrity
and strategies are essential, and a large amount of time and money is consumed.
As a result, the celebrity and appropriate people from his/her agency (production) are given rights to monopolize
financial profit drawn from the celebrity's name. This Publicity Rights has been approved by many precedents.
Therefore, you will most likely to violate the Publicity Rights if you use name and portraits of a celebrity
and their customer-drawing power, which is a product of the celebrity and his/her production's hard work
and accomplishment, without any permission.
In such a case, you are required to seek permissions from every Publicity Rights holders of the celebrity.
When we discover such a site that violates the Publicity Rights of celebrities, whose agencies/productions
belong to our organization, by posting names and/or portraits of the celebrities,
we request immediate removal of such contents.
Q4. At the entrance of a concert, we are checked for possession of camera into it.
Why we are not supposed to take pictures?
Not only celebrities but everyone has a right to refuse to be a subject of a picture and a right to
refuse your pictures published in public.
Since celebrities can make profit by selling pictures of themselves as a part of their job,
it is an illegal act to take pictures at a concert and provide those pictures to friends and such.
Also, there are merchants who sneak in cameras or video cameras and sell the pictures and videotapes
without consent.
They are violating the law and owe right holders restitutions.
Q5. How about cameramen who cover the event? They are taking pictures but are they violating the rights?
Those cameramen from magazines etc.
have permissions from sponsors or productions to take pictures.
They use those pictures to report the conditions of the concert and promote the concert or the celebrity.
Q6. Are pictures and other products sold outside the concert hall/stadium all fakes?
Those merchants outside the concert hall/stadium are, often times, selling products without permission.
The official merchants who have permissions usually states "Sponsor" etc. on their sign.
Unauthorized merchants sell pictures taken in secret during a concert or those without permission.
If you are a real fan, you wouldn't buy from these merchants, would you?
Q7. What are the differences between unauthorized products and official products? How can I distinguish them?
In such case as in publicity pictures, official pictures are often taken in studios, or when taken outdoors,
taken with caution of letting minimal obstructions in back ground.
Unauthorized pictures are usually taken at a TV studio or at a concert from the audience,
and easily distinguished by looking at background.
Official pictures have the production's logo sticker or printing or a stamp stating "(C)___ production" on them.
Also note that official products won't be sold on streets.
Q8. Are celebrity pictures often sold in downtown not produced by production companies?
Most pictures sold at open air markets are illegal pictures.
Most of these pictures were taken secretly from audience, and they are different from official pictures
which production companies produced for fans.
Q9. How about celebrity goods?
Celebrity products sold on streets are, same as pictures, also illegal products.
They print pictures copied from photo albums onto T-shirts etc. and sell them to public.
It is illegal to take pictures and portraits of celebrities and sell without consent.
Q10. I've seen news reporting an illegal shop in Harajuku got exposed but what was illegal?
It is a part of a celebrity's job to shoot pictures for publicity photo or products.
By selling these products, he/she make profits. Names and portraits themselves have financial value to them.
Illegal shops sell unauthorized publicity photos and products to make a profit.
Thus, they rob celebrity's profits, and depending on the pictures, spread negative image of the celebrity.
There are many illegal shops like the one in Harajuku all over the country.
They've been controlled but even when they are exposed, others open new shops.
Fans can help shut down these merchants by not buying from them.
Q11. Where are official products sold?
Even though it is rare around the country, depending on a celebrity,
they may have an official shop in Harajuku, Tokyo.
Typically, they are sold via mail order through production companies or fan clubs.
Q12. Is there any problem if I save pictures of a celebrity on internet on my computer,
and redesign it with some illustrations I made?
There is no problem with using those pictures only for private use.
You cannot make copies of these pictures and provide them to your friends and others.
Also, you cannot use these pictures on a website.
Q13. What if I want to use pictures and video clips of a celebrity on my website?
Pictures and videos are protected by the Publicity Rights and copy rights.
If you are using pictures or videos of a celebrity for your website,
you need to get permission from the production company which manages the rights of the celebrity.
However, it is very rare for them to give permission for individuals since
celebrities are professionals and their names and portraits have financial values.
Q14. How about if I want to use music from a CD on my website?
This is not Publicity Rights but is in the field of copy rights.
It is okay if you are using for personal use but putting on a website means it is open to public,
so you are required to seek permission from recording or production companies.
You will also notify Japanese Society for Rights of Authors,
Composers and Publishers which is in charge of Music Copy Rights of composers.
In this case, you need to pay fees rather than asking for permission.
Q15. I found a magazine with the stage name and an illustration of a celebrity on its cover and
no production name printed. What about a case like this?
In 1995, there was a book called "How to become Yumi Adachi" published,
and there was her name and an illustration that looked like her on the front cover.
However, they published it without seeking permission from her management office.
They was sued and had to stop publication and recalled the products.
Q16. Is it true that a book with celebrities' private address and phone numbers getting published?
In 1996, a publisher tried to publish a book containing home addresses of members of the popular group "SMAP."
Their management company feared that it would violate their privacy and tried to stop its publication.
This act was approved and they were able to stop publication of the book.
Since they were a popular group, it would have been a disaster if the book was published.
We wish that more people become more aware of everybody else's rights rather than
thinking of their own profit and cause social problems like this.