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Image rights legislation has been drafted in Guernsey, and should be in force by December 3, 2012, subject to the approval of the island’s legislative assembly. This will make Guernsey the first jurisdiction to have a legislative framework to register an image, enabling effective management and control of the commercial use of a person’s identity, images associated with that person, including distinctive expressions, characteristics and attributes. The legislation will establish image rights as a new and separate branch of intellectual property (IP) law and provide clearly defined safeguards for celebrities and sports personalities looking to further protect and capitalize on their image. The ground-breaking law will create an image rights register enabling legal recognition of a ‘registered personality’ (i.e. the exclusive rights to the images associated with or registered against the personality). Once registered, the image right, as an identifiable asset, can be placed within a Guernsey structure, adding flexibility to allow image rights income to be channelled into a wealth management structure such as a trust, or for instance, a partnership structure to overcome complex asset ownership arrangements. This Guernsey register will probably be the first of its kind, as many other tax heavens will soon follow not to miss this new IP train!


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