Turkish court fines airline for unauthorized use of photo in magazine
Özge Eğrikar ISTANBUL – HürriyetA court has fined airline Onur Air 25,000 Turkish Liras, for using in its magazine a photo of a man with his girlfriend taken on the street without permission.
The man, Engin Bülbül, noticed that a photo of him and his girlfriend, walking on an Istanbul street, was used in the On Air Tourism Guide magazine, which is distributed to passengers on Onur Air planes. The photo took up a full page of the magazine, and Bülbül filed a lawsuit against the company for using his picture without permission.
Bülbül demanded compensation from Onur Air via the notary office in the Black Sea province of Ünye.
Onur Air refused to give compensation, saying they simply aimed to introduce Istanbul’s Arnavutköy pier – which the couple are standing next to in the photo – and adding that the people in the photograph were not depicted in a humiliating manner. The company also claimed that permission for the photo’s use was received from Bülbül and his girlfriend right after the picture was taken.
The civil court of first instance sent the case to the Istanbul criminal courts for intellectual and industrial property rights, which found Bülbül’s complaint justified.
The court said the unauthorized use of photos was part of unfair competition and was also a direct violation of personal rights. The court ruled that Onur Air must pay 12,500 liras to each complainant, amounting to a total fine of 25,000 liras.