Even Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli has a right to privacy, and even Samsung does not have the right to invade it, a Tel Aviv court ruled Wednesday in a decision that will cost Samsung nearly $160,000.
Samsung’s Israeli importer Suny Electronics went ahead and used online broadcasts of her in its advertising campaign in 2006 but without her knowledge.
She sued for violations of her rights of privacy. It’s one thing to go on the air, but it is another matter to take the conversation and use it for a commercial campaign without a person’s knowledge, let alone permission.
Samsung decided to go head-to-head and battle it out in the court and even sued Bar Rafaeli for libel for writing to Samsung’s office in Korea about the misuse.
Tel Aviv District Court Judge Avi Zamir decided in her favor and ordered Samsung to fork over $113,400 to Bar Rafaeli plus another $42,000 to cover court costs.
He threw out the libel suit but also dismissed the supermodel’s claim for personal damages from a market consultant, Globes reported.
“The image of models, their voices, bodies, and names are their personal assets, and no one has the right to use them for commercial purposes without their consent and without compensation,” Judge Zamir ruled.
He added, “These assets have the right to be protected. Every model, male or female, even if they chose to reveal themselves in an advertisement, even the broadest and most exposing, in any media, has the right not to have use made of these private assets beyond what was agreed, and without their explicit consent.
“Even deviations from existing agreements over the extent of the permitted use of these assets, damage them, damage that justifies financial compensation.”
Considering that Bar Rafaeli is a good sell for anything from apples to zebras, Samsung may have gotten more than its money’s worth for the free use of her conversations.