SA stars seek millions for pics

2011-12-11 15:21

Timothy Molobi - City Press

Johannesburg - Top Bafana Bafana players Steven Pienaar, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Katlego Mphela have taken legal action against international conglomerate SABMiller over image rights.

According to a highly placed source close to the Bafana trio who spoke on condition of anonymity, the players are claiming more than R2 million for the usage of their images on billboards by the global brewing giant.

Mphela and Tshabalala’s business managers Glyn Binkin and Jazzman Mahlakgane refused to comment, instead referring the matter to their legal representative, David Becker.

The lawyer confirmed that steps had been taken to force the company to compensate the players, saying it was about getting these stars a fair opportunity to earn remuneration for the usage of their images.

Becker said cricket and rugby players were paid for their image rights, adding it was about time soccer players also earned their dues.

“It is only in this country where soccer players get nothing for their image rights and we are saying it is not fair. You cannot use the players’ image and associate it with the brand, and still not give them something. This is about earning a fair return for the players for usage of their images. That’s all we are asking for,” argued Becker.

He said the amount they were demanding was based on what the players would get if they did a sponsorship deal with SAB.

“The players have been exploited for far too long and the only reason they use their images is because they have value?

“There has to be a change in the mentality of how these things are done.”

Becker added that it was wrong to assume that because the beer giant could use the players’ images willy-nilly because it had a contract with SAFA.

“I sympathise with SAB because they have a contract with SAFA but SAFA did not acquire the rights from the players. This makes it illegal to use their images without their permission nor compensation.

“This has been going on for the past three years without any arrangements with the players. Do you think that’s fair?”

“That has to change and the only way is for us to take legal action. We are left with no option but to take this route because they (SAB) have not responded to our demands since we sent them a letter three months ago.”

The SAB acknowledged receipt of a written claim from the three players but not the summons.

SAB head of media and communications Robyn Chalmers said: “The South African Breweries can confirm that it has received a written claim from three players that represent and play in the national football team. We have not received a summons in this matter, and should a summons starting legal action be received, it will be dealt with accordingly.

“SAB has engaged with SAFA on the matter as we have a valid sponsorship agreement in place, which deals with rights granted to SAB by SAFA. And we have acted in accordance with that agreement. Due to the confidential nature of the agreement we are not able to disclose the contents of the agreement.”

City Press

  • Burtfred - 2011-12-11 16:23

    I wouldn't pay a penny to use the images of Bafana players - bunch of prima-donna losers.

  • Ian - 2011-12-11 16:59

    lazy fat muppets that belong in grade 1 art class they draw so much, oh wait they will stuff that up too

  • David Skea - 2011-12-11 17:54

    Bafana are not worth the shirts they wear..

  • Seja - 2011-12-11 19:00

    ...Be fair ... if SAB feels that the players faces can be on billboards then it means SAB attaches value to the faces of the players no matter how little you might think of them. The players on those billboards deserve to be remunerated - it simply just a question of how much - which will probably be a reasonable amount seeing that the images have already been used.

      Kyle - 2011-12-11 20:09

      I'm sure SAFA gave SAB permission to use their pics (in the contract) as you will see at the end of the day they can only sue SAFA.

      Cyrus - 2011-12-12 20:09

      Besides the remuneration factor, I think personally, I would just be pissed in general if my pictures are being displayed anywhere without my consent.

  • jerry.kb - 2011-12-11 22:16

    these players are right. y others are paid and them not? Besides,the company have attracted many more customers with those pictures. The players deserve to be paid.

  • nelius.vantonder - 2011-12-12 09:15

    The fact of the matter is according to Entertainment Law, SAB Miller can not use the player's faces or likeness without their verbal or written conscent of the player or person in question - this does not only account for football players or famous people this accounts for every single human being - NO COMPANY can use your face, image, name or likeness without your personal conscent or agreed upon terms for the usage of such. If you are an extra in a movie and have not been paid for that but you can see yourself clearly you can demand payment for the usage of your likeness. NO OTHER PARTY can decide for you, meaning that SAFA can not sell a player's likeness on their behalf no matter what the agreement of sponsorship is. This is as good as SAB using a BMW in their adds if they have a written sponsorship with Mercedes...the two are not the same and SAFA nor the players are the same entity. The players are not assets of SAFA even though they regularly represent SAFA in football matches but these individual have lives outside Bafana Bafana and they are not ONLY recognized because of their ties to Bafana Bafana but also because of their lives outside of the national team. SAB Miller is acting extremely unprofessional and deliberately stupid or blind to the laws regarding copyright, trademarks or patents that apply to likeness ussage. They are a big company that deals with these types of sponsorships daily but they pay rugby and cricket players for the use of their likeness!

      Gerald - 2011-12-12 11:50

      Have you actually read the contracts bteween the players and SAFA. Advertising does not fall under entertainment and there are lots of contracts that state that you give the other party consent to use your photograph in any advertising as they, the company sees fit

  • Simon - 2011-12-23 16:54

    Using someone's picture without his concern is very wrong, they should pay.

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