Posted on Dec 10, 2012

Another first for Guernsey – the long awaited Image Rights Law has now come into force.

Guernsey’s ground-breaking legislation is the first of its kind in the world and will enable celebrities to register not only images and names but characteristics, mannerisms, catch phrases and other unique identifiers that form part of their own personal “brand”, going well beyond the scope of the existing IP legislation.

David Gilmour, Imperium’s Managing Director sees this innovation as a hugely positive development in Guernsey’s legislative framework:

“Image is serious business. Celebrities, sports personalities and musicians often enjoy considerable income from endorsements and sponsorships. This legislation will open up some exciting additional revenue streams for the jurisdiction.”

Image rights will generally be held in a corporate vehicle within a trust structure. Key benefits include:

* Succession planning – celebrities will be able to incorporate their image rights into their succession planning with the rights forming part of their estate assets;
* Tax planning – there are some benefits to be derived from a tax planning point of view although these will differ depending on an individual’s place of residence;
* Financial leverage – banking institutions may be more willing to loan against image rights held within a secure corporate structure.

David adds: “We live in an era where communication is immediate and through social and other viral media, people can become sensations almost overnight. The new Guernsey legislation will enable young sporting talent and budding celebrities to register their image rights even before their full potential has been realised, ensuring the commercial value of individual brands is protected throughout their lifetime and beyond.”