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Swifties in PowNed video could take broadcaster to court

A controversial video in which PowNed asks Taylor Swift fans how far they would go for a meet-and-greet with the singer violates portrait rights according to Jeroen ten Voorde in Dutch newspaper ‘NRC’.

Last weekend, Taylor Swift performed at the Johan Cruiff Arena in Amsterdam. PowNed reporter Abel Bijlsma interviewed her fans, known as Swifties, outside the stadium and asked how far they would go for a meet-and-greet with the superstar. After filming the attention-seeking antics of fans, the reporter told them it was all just a joke and there would be no meet-and-greet with Swift. 

'Sluts' for Taylor Swift

The video called ‘Screaming girls become sluts for Taylor Swift’ showed disturbing images – one of a woman showing her breasts – and has been publicly condemned for being sexist. Responding to all the commotion, Dutch public broadcaster PowNed has now taken the video offline.

Court action or public debate?

Professor Jeroen ten Voorde says in NRC newspaper that the women in question could have had their images removed by taking court action citing portrait rights. 'These rights allow people to stop the distribution of their image if it violates their privacy for example. Portrait rights [in the Netherlands] are part of copyright and fall under private law, not criminal law. These women could take PowNed or Bijlsma to court, claiming damages.’

However, Professor ten Voorde believes that this incident is better suited to public debate than to court action: 'Isn’t it better to speak with one voice and say that we no longer support PowNed and call for the broadcaster to be removed? That would be a much harsher punishment than if the court were to impose a sentence, if it gets round to that at all.’

Find out more?

Read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of NRC (€).

Photo by Stephen Mease through Unsplash.

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