It is well known that in the UK (unlike in other jurisdictions) there is no ‘image right’ law and so individuals have to rely on a collection of other laws to commercially exploit, and prevent others from using, their likeness or name. These laws can range from copyright, data protection and passing off to defamation, confidential information and trade marks (among others) depending on the circumstances at hand. 

In the fame industry where celebrities are understandably protective over the use and value of their personal brand, it can be difficult for third party companies wishing to negotiate their image as part of a commercialised product, especially where the product involves a number of celebrities. Celebrities will often rely on the patchwork of law referenced above to prevent this.

In some industries, contractual schemes are set up to allow third party companies to negotiate with large groups of celebrities (or their clubs or associations) to make this process easier. This is often referred to as "collective bargaining".

This article, written by my colleagues, sums up perfectly how the rights to use football players’ images in games such as FIFA21 are negotiated, whether the current collective bargaining model is satisfactory for the 'star' players and how players might be able to protect their image rights in other ways.