Personal Rights

Personal Rights are different from copyright and should be assessed in addition to copyright. Personal rights involve protecting an individual's reputation and privacy while ​copyright involves protecting an individual's creative work.


Defamation is a type of personal rights infringement that involves false statements that harm the reputation of an individual, group, organization, or business by exposing them to contempt or ridicule. Libel, slander, and injurious falsehood are all types of defamation.

Libel is a defamatory statement that is written or published such as in a newspaper, book, or on social media.

Slander refers to a false spoken statement that harms the reputation of an individual, group, or organization.

Injurious falsehood is a false statement made with malicious intent about a business entity or its products and services that result in financial harm.

Invasion of Privacy

Invasion of privacy is a type of violation of personal rights that involves the unauthorized or unwanted use, disclosure, or observation of an individual's private information or behavior. This includes actions such as stalking, surveillance, hacking, or the dissemination of private information without consent. There are several types of invasions of privacy.

False light occurs when someone portrays another person in a false or misleading way that damages their reputation or causes emotional distress. This could include publishing a photograph or video that has been altered or manipulated in a way that portrays the person inaccurately.

Public disclosure of private facts is revealing truthful but private or embarrassing facts about a person without legitimate public concern or newsworthiness.  This could include disclosing medical records, financial information, sexual orientation, or personal details that the person would not want disclosed.

Intrusion upon seclusion occurs when someone intentionally intrudes upon another person's solitude or private affairs, Examples of this can include entering their home without permission, secretly watching or recording someone, and hacking into someone’s computer or phone.

Misappropriation of name or likeness happens when someone uses another person's name, likeness, or image without permission for commercial purposes, such as in advertising or on merchandise.  Everyone has the right to control the commercial use of their name, image, likeness, or other identifiable aspects of their persona. This is known as the right of publicity.

How to avoid personal rights infringement

To avoid personal rights infringement be sure to follow these best practices.​

Fact check any potentially damaging statements to ensure they are accurate and unbiased.

Rephrase the statement as an opinion using phrases such as "it would appear" or "this suggests."

Apply the reasonable person test to further avoid instances of false light.  Ask yourself: Would a reasonable person be offended by this statement if it were false?

Ensure that you obtain and document the proper release forms and permission forms granting Sage the appropriate rights.  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​