Vanessa Hudgens Claims Copyright in Décolletée Images of Herself

Generally speaking, the subject of a photograph does not have copyrights therein. These accrue to the photographer, unless there is a contract to the contrary.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens has apparently been shocked to find full frontal, nude images of herself on the Internet, specifically on the site of, but as tends to happen with such things, the images are already available more widely.

Sometimes, such pictures are the result of paparazzi voyeurs and can be taken down by court order as being an invasion of privacy. In this case, it looks suspiciously like the actress is posing.

In an interesting move, Ms. Hudgens has claimed that she took the pictures herself and thus owns the copyright, which she has registered with the US Copyright Office. However, there is no indication that she was actively controlling the camera since there is no indication of a remote control, for example.

If the camera was operating automatically and filming everything, then arguably there is no copyright in the images. Perhaps it would be like a sports event. On the other hand, shouldn’t a model or actress who sets up a picture and then gets into the frame to be part of the image be considered as the photographer? Come to that, should it matter if someone else presses the shutter?

OK! magazine speculated that she would be dropped from High School Musical 3 when, in September 6, 2007, a photo of Hudgens appeared online, showing her nude. A statement from her publicist claims that the photo was taken privately and it was unfortunate that they were released on the Internet. Hudgens later apologized, saying that she was “embarrassed over the situation” and regretted having “taken [those] photos.” naked photos of Hudgens surfaced the Internet in late 2007. The Walt Disney Company denied the reports, saying, “Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson.”
A link to the article is here:

As the subject matter is not part of the claim for copyright protection, but only the identity of the photographer, I am not posting the images. Despite not being convinced that Ms Hudgens took the compromising pictures of herself, herself.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property, Internet, News

4 replies

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