Brit bike show in rights clash with Lance Armstrong and Trek

The Bike Show, due to staged 16-18th April at the NEC in Birmingham, has been using images of Lance Armstrong in promotions. This is a big no-no without authorisation, and Trek's legal counsel in the US is believed to about to take action to prevent further rights abuses. In 1999, Armstrong reached an out-of-court settlement with Pearl Izumi, then a sponsor of the US Postal team, over a similar unauthorised use-of-image dispute.
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In the 1999 suit, Armstrong had claimed damages of $750 000 as well as recovery of 'fair market value' for the use of his name and likeness. This 'fair market value' is put at a minimum of $250 000 per promotion, say rights experts.

Haymarket, majority owner of The Bike Show, has been featuring an image of Armstrong in magazine adverts, leaflets, postcards and on its website. This is unauthorised, say sources close to Armstrong.

Trek UK, which is not exhibiting at The Bike Show, is believed to be concerned over the use of Armstrong and the possible airbrushing out of the Trek logo from the image in question. Haymarket has launched an investigation into the allegation of Photoshop editing.

Show organiser Louise Houston told BikeBiz.com:

"We were very surprised to hear of this feedback today. We dealt with the photographic agency, PhotoSport International, under normal terms, so we are unclear at this stage as to what concerns exist."

There are major differences between use of a library image used in a magazine for news purposes and use of the same image in a promotional context. Analysts believe Haymarket will have to cease using the Armstrong image, recall any materials using his image and issue an apology. It will then be up to Armstrong whether to take the matter any further.

A fuller statement from Haymarket is expected early next week.

http://www.thebikeshow.com/.../f_road.html

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