Dairy pays greek for unlawful use of his likeness

Recently, Minas Karatzoglis discovered that he is depicted on the packaging of the best selling «Turkish Yoghurt» from of Lindahls Mejeri (Sweden) for the last eight years. He is not happy. He is Greek, is living in Greece, and thinks that the packaging is ruining his image. He promptly filed a suit demanding SEK 50 million in compensation for unlawful use of his likeness to promote a commercial product.

Karatzoglis and the Yoghurt packaging
Minas Karatzoglis with the offending yoghurt packaging inserted.
Photo source: Lindahls Mejeri. Photo credit: Unknown stock photographer.

According to Swedish daily Aftonbladet. Karatzoglis has now agreed to settle, and Lindahls Mejeri will pay him a substantial amount for the use of his likeness. The amount is not yet fully agreed, but will probably be between one half and two million SEK.

Anders Lindahl, managing director of Lindahls Mejeri, has this to say about the settlement:

We believe that we've done the right thing the whole way through. We bought the image from a stock photo company, and we paid for it. We will demand that the stock photo company refunds the full amount we end up paying Minas Karatzoglis.

The story does not say whether the stock photo agency had tagged the image as having a model release form attached that cleared it for commercial use. If it it did not, I think Lindahl's chance of getting a refund from the agency is slim. It is the publisher, not the stock photo agency, that bears the ultimate responsiblity of clearning personality rights to a photograph that is depicting a person's likeness.

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