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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Choc shock as ex-child wins face-off action

Following the earlier saga of Russell Christoff's claim against Nestlé USA for wrongful face-lift, here's another face case, this time from Israel. This information comes from Monday's issue of Israel Today.

The story, loosely translated from the original Hebrew and rotated from right-to-left for ease of reading, involves one Roi Kroyotoro, who maintained that his image had been displayed on jars of Chocolit cocoa powder, a product by the Strauss Group, for the past decade. "Everyone Calls Me Cocoa", he complained. The Strauss Group has now been forced to cease using his image, following an order by Jerusalem District Court Judge Josef Shapiro. Strauss has been given three months in which to dispose of existing stock.

Kroyotoro, who is now a soldier, was photographed for Chocolit's purposes a decade earlier, when he was a minor. His parents received a one-time payment of 3,520 New Shekels [about 650 Euros at today's rate] from Elite, with which Strauss subsequently merged. There was no written contact. After his request for removal of the portrait was refused, Kroyotoro sued for 5 million Shekels [about 920,000 Euros at today's rate]. Straus claimed that Kroyotoro sold the right to use his image in perpetuity. The judge disagreed: the use of the image was granted for a reasonable time only, and that time had clearly passed.

The IPKat would like to know a bit more about the cause of action and the defence(s) raised. Can anyone enlighten him?

Chocolit factory here
Face/Off here
Strauss's Chocolate Soldier here and here


Dr. Michael Factor said...

From reviewing the interim court decision, it seems that the judge is ruling under Israel Contract Law, Section 46 and believes that there is sufficient cause to believe that usage of the image was not in perpetuity, so now that the boy in the wrapping has objected to continued use of his image, Strauss should change the packaging. (It seems that there were arguably flaws in the contract, since it was not clear to the model that his image would be used for years and this eventuality was not taken into account when deciding on fair payment).

Since Strauss can afford any reasonable royalty if decided that it is appropriate to pay, the judge has ruled that they can continue to market the image for 6 months, to let stocks work their way through the system.

This is an interim decision only.

There is no English language summary, but the case is 7901/09. the full reference is:

בשא 7901/09 רועי קרויטורו נ' שטראוס גרופ בע"מ (מחוזי - י-ם, י' שפירא) 20/08/2009

Anonymous said...

The ruling is here: at the site of the Israel Bar Association.

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