Suzy Loses Case against Online Shopping Mall That Used Her Name without Permission
On February 15, the Seoul Central District Court ruled against miss A’s Suzy in a lawsuit she filed claiming publicity rights against an internet shopping mall that was using her name and face in promotions without her permission.
In response to the court’s decision, Suzy’s management agency JYP Entertainment told TV Report, “We are disappointed in the [judge’s ruling]. As to whether we will appeal the decision, we will decide after consulting our lawyer tomorrow (February 16).”
The defendant, identified in reports as “shopping mall A,” sold “Suzy hats” from September 2011 to February 2014. In advertisements for the hats, the mall used pictures of Suzy from past interviews as well as paparazzi shots of her airport fashion.
Suzy sued the shopping mall claiming publicity rights, which are in short her right to control the commercial use of her name, face, image, and other aspects related to her persona.
The court provided the following rationale for its ruling, “The rights to control the commercial use of Suzy’s name and image are included in the right to one’s name and the right to one’s image, so there is no separate publicity right to be acknowledged.”
Moreover, “There isn’t enough [evidence] to prove that as a result of the infringement of [Suzy’s] rights to her image and name she was unable to sign new contracts or had to terminate existing ones, and we are dismissing her claim for damages because there is no evidence that she incurred financial losses.”