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From the Law Office of Marie-Andrée Weiss:
The state of New York does not recognize a common law right of privacy. It only recognizes a right not to have one’s likeness used for commercial purposes, New York Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51. Under § 50,“[a] person, firm or corporation that uses for advertising purposes, or for the purposes of trade, the name, portrait or picture of any living person without having first obtained the written consent of such person, or if a minor of his or her parent or guardian, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” § 51 provides plaintiff for injunctive relief and damages.
Therefore, it is not illegal under New York law to use someone’s likeness without permission for a purpose which is not commercial. Plaintiff must prove to succeed in his claim the (1) use of his name, portrait, picture or voice (2) “for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade” (3) without consent and (4) within the state of New York.