It depends. If you are famous, your friend can get away with placing your badly-posed photo on the Internet. However, if you are a private individual, you can try to assert your right to privacy. If your friend or someone else is actually benefiting from this posting, financially that is, then it might be a different story. The question is whether you have the right of publicity, which limits the commercial use of one's name, image, likeness and/or identity. The basic idea is that you can almost always stop others from using your name, likeness or identity for commercial gain.


Rights of publicity are based on state laws, which vary greatly from state to state. Most states recognize claims based on the right of publicity through statute, common law or both. Many of these laws extend the right of publicity to all people, nit just celebrities or other famous individuals.


The basic concept of these laws is this: You cannot use someone's name, identity, likeness or persona without consent in a way that causes harm. This is especially unlawful if the person also receives some kind of benefit or advantage based on that use.

It is easy to see whether a person is harmed. If someone puts your picture in an unflattering pose on the Internet, you could be ridiculed and probably even lose your job. But you should also prove that your friend financially benefited from doing this. For example, did your friend sell the picture or gave it to someone to use as financial leverage against you?

The basic idea is that you can stop others from using your name, likeness or identity for commercial gain.

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