Buzz Aldrin sues trading-card company Topps

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  1. Stacie L profile image94
    Stacie Lposted 8 years ago

    "LOS ANGELES — Former lunar astronaut Buzz Aldrin is not over the moon about the use of his photo on a series of trading cards.

    The 80-year-old Aldrin sued Topps Inc. this week in federal court in Los Angeles, saying the company had unfairly profited from his historic achievement when they used an iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the moon in a series of "American Heroes" trading cards.

    In documents filed with the court, attorneys representing Aldrin noted that the astronaut has received settlement payments amounting to more than $760,000 over the years for infringements due to unauthorized commercial use of Aldrin's image." … nce-space/

    I guess he has a right to be compensated

  2. Quilligrapher profile image79
    Quilligrapherposted 8 years ago

    My first reaction: images belonging to the US government and released to the public are in the public domain.  Perhaps a legal expert among us will offer us a professional opinion.

  3. sunforged profile image67
    sunforgedposted 8 years ago

    A recognizable person always has rights to how their image is used if it is in a commercial application unless they have specifically sold/given away rights to the photographer.

    You can use that same pic of Buzz on Your Hub if all advertising is disabled, the moment it becomes commercial the person depicted has a right to financial compensation and to make the choice whether they are to  be used as a spokesman.

    The DoD website has great images available for non -commercial use - but the moment you want to use the pictures in commercial ways lots of new rules open up: … aluse.html  - NASA's stance seems to be the same

    1. Quilligrapher profile image79
      Quilligrapherposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, Sunforged for a succinct and well supported reply. I had to wait, however,a full 29 minutes for your post.  You might want to work on that.

  4. Paul Wingert profile image72
    Paul Wingertposted 8 years ago

    It all depends on who owns the photo. If the US Government owns the photo of Aldrin and Topps has permission from the Government (or if it's public domain), Aldrin is SOL. It's like if I used the song, "Telephone" by Lady Gaga, in a film or whatever to make a profit, the recording company who holds the rights to the song, not Lady Gaga, can sue me for infringment. When Lady Gaga signes a contract with a recording company, she gives up the rights to her music to be recorded.

  5. sunforged profile image67
    sunforgedposted 8 years ago


    your example is accurate but irrelevant


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