Ryan the temp has got some unwanted attention.
“The Office” star’s image appears on a variety of products — from face paint in Uruguay to Calvin Klein cologne in Sweden. He’s collected some of the photos of the products on his verified Instagram account under the caption “Modeling.” “Years ago someone mistakenly put an image of me on a public domain site, and now apparently I am on products all around the world, but I am too amused to do anything about it,” the note reads. In addition to being a popular stock photo model, Novak is also an author, TV writer and producer. His latest project is the anthology series “The Premise,” which is streaming on FX on Hulu.
Copyright infringement (at times referred to as piracy) is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission for a usage where such permission is required, thereby infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works. His lawyer can send cease-and-desist letters to the companies that used his image, or he can escalate the matter by suing the companies. It is more likely for him to pursue a case against the companies who made money off the photo than the person who uploaded the picture to a public domain website. The reality is that Novak’s face is associated with multiple popular products which begs to discuss remedies for this issue.
What do you think BJ Novak should do?