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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Can I review a specific individual on a website without s

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Can I review a specific individual on a website without his consent? Can I put someone's name on my website without his consent. Can I use information available about someone on social media to create a reviewing profile for that person without asking?
To summarize, If I go on linkedin, download a resume and put it on my website for people to rate and review what are the legal consequences?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

The intellectual property/copyright in the content belongs to the author. Just because it may be on LinkedIn does not mean that its public domain and available for everyone to use. The same applies to images on the Internet everywhere.

If you do it without their consent, they could apply to court for an injunction to make you remove it.

You may be able to use part of it under the fair use provision but it depends whether you want to have the argument in court. Here is the governments explanation to exceptions to copyright which includes fair use. I can’t see here that what you propose to do falls with any of these exceptions.

Fair use would probably not extend to the whole thing and only parts of it. Using the individual’s name is ***** ***** breach of their right to privacy and even though they may have published this elsewhere, they have published it whether they want it to be and they are in control of it.

It’s not something that I would suggest you went ahead with unless they agree. Can I clarify anything for you?

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid. We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks it is really clear, but what about the companies they work for. I see many company reviews on a lot of websites and not all of them give their consent. Is there a difference? I will surely give a great review.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

There is nothing wrong with reviewing the company. Providing the review is honest and not in any way defamatory. There are lots of review sites for both commercial and non-commercial entities.

However what they don’t do is cut and paste whole sections from elsewhere.

If they did, (and you are in the same situation) just because it remains there does not mean that they are allowed to do it, it just means that either what they have posted has not been found by the owner of the intellectual property/copyright or that the owner is not bothered. The owner may actually be pleased.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8978
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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