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I have an idea but it involves using celebrity images. Is this illegal? Can I be sued?

By Nina Kaufman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I have an idea but it involves using celebrity images. Is this illegal? Can I be sued?

If you intend to use celebrity images (or any else's image, for that matter) for a commercial purpose, you must obtain the permission of the individual, who will likely want you to pay for the privilege . . . and if it's a celebrity, pay handsomely (why do you think sports figures command multi-million dollar endorsement fees?). Using their image without permission will almost assuredly result in a lawsuit. Contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area and who can properly document the transaction.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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