Australia photo battle of a federal member of parliament

Australia photo battle of a federal member of parliament, photo battle of a federal member of parliament, Rebekha Sharkie, Australia photo battle , federal member of parliament,

Australia photo battle of a federal member of parliament

Recently, South Australian independent Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie threatened the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) with legal action after the distribution of flyers featuring her driving a wrecking ball through religious schools.

The Australian Christian Lobby has used the MP’s face in the flyer. Even if the flyer carries good intentions, it will also likely be brought to court as it is used for commercial purposes and the rights owners of the photo have every right to file a lawsuit. 

For this case, Sharkie’s photo is used for ‘bad’ purposes in her view as she is demonstrated as the one who is wrecking, literally, a religious school.

Therefore, it’s not strange that Sharkie threatened the Canberra-based organization to make an official apology as well as the immediate removal of the flyers carrying, alleged infringement on her copyright by using her photo on the flyers without permission.

Sharkie, the independent MP for the South Australian seat of Mayo, said flyers had been distributed in her electorate on two separate occasions.

According to Sharkie, the photos made by ACL have emphasized her vote against the Religious Discrimination Bill and to repeal Section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act, which protects the value of Christian schools in Australia in February 2022. She called this action an ‘unfair’ attack on her vote. 

Sharkie said she would not allow the organization to “use my likeness to denigrate the LGBTIQ+ community, people fleeing domestic violence, going through a divorce or seeking IVF treatment.”

She strongly demanded an apology from ACL to which its spokeswomen Wendy Francis said the organization had neither received correspondence from Sharkie regarding this nor has it been given evidence that Sharkie is the copyright owner of the photo – as an official response to Sharkie’s claim on copyright violation.

Can online photos be considered free to use?

“The photo of Rebekha Sharkie used on the ACL flyer is publicly available online in many places, including on the ABC election website,” Francis said. “ACL has not been provided with any evidence that Ms. Sharkie owns the copyright, as distinct from her assertions.”

ACL’s claim is that as the photo is made public online along with the fact that there is no evidence confirming Ms. Sharkie’s ownership of her photo, therefore, it’s not wrong for ACL to use her photos for their purposes. 

However, the principal matter of this case is probably not about the copyright. Consequently, it will be a bad move by the Australian PM if she can’t prove the actual ownership of such photos as copyright is automatically owned by the photographer, not the subject of the photo. 

Therefore, for future cases, it’s best that the plaintiff focuses on the damage made by the photo, not on the matter of who is the true owner or does a party have the legal access to use that photo. 

As one of the latest news, Sharkie said that any potential damages paid by the ACL in regards to the whole incident would be donated to charity services including the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, the Uniting church, and local housing services. 

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