Technoviking Sues Filmmaker

The still-unnamed star of the hit video known as Technoviking is suing Matthias Fritsch, the filmmaker who recorded him dancing in 2000. The lawyers involved and the court in Germany are not very forthcoming with the facts of the case, but Technoviking wants all videos and images bearing his likeness stripped from the web. If not, he wants Fritsch to pay up and spend time in jail. Judges in the case proposed a compromise, which Technoviking has rejected. A German blogger doesn't think Technoviking can win.

Under the common law... the Technoviking video can be legally shared. Technoviking went out into a public festival, where certainly knew he might be filmed, and started dancing. He was sharing his image with thousands of strangers, and obviously enjoyed himself doing so. The artist was not using the Technoviking's image to sell a product, and the money he earned from it was merely incidental to its unexpected success. And it was, of course, money for something he created—the video of an interesting person dancing on the street.

But if the courts side with the plaintiff, the repercussions could affect artists, photographers, and videographers in profound ways. Link

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I don't think the issue is the Youtube video -- the issue is it being commercialized, with him being turned into a "character" that's being marketed in a wide variety of ways, none of which he has any control over... People do have some right to control their own identity and stop people from selling it and otherwise capitalizing on it...
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