Images of public domain and could be downloaded by anyone ??

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    HC relief for AIDS ad face

    Chennai, Aug. 5: Madras High Court today ordered the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society to remove pictures of a woman and her child from its posters within a week after the 25-year-old complained that they were used without her permission.

    Justice K. Suguna was hearing a petition filed by the woman accusing the society of using the images without her knowledge and consent in an AIDS campaign, causing social harm to her and her 4-year-old daughter. She also claimed damages of Rs 1 crore.

    The counsel for the society told the court that the pictures had been sourced by an advertising agency that designed the campaign.

    Since the ad agency had taken the pictures from a photography website (, they were already in the public domain and could be downloaded by anyone without obtaining formal consent. The images had not been used in an illegal way, the counsel argued.

    The angry judge asked if a photograph that could cause social harm to a person could be used without the personís knowledge and consent.

    The judge fixed the hearing on the claim for damages after two weeks.