As an image with the corresponding text to express specific feelings in a specific scene is becoming more and more popular, the culture of “facial expressions”, also known as stickers, merges. Facial expressions can be obtained from film and television works through screen capture or can be shot  as common facial expressions of ordinary people, which can also be free of charge or paid;

Facial expressions should be used legally without abuse, otherwise, there is a risk to infringe legitimate rights and interests of others or violate the legal requirements:

First of all, right of portrait of others can be infringed. Right of portrait is a kind of civil right in relation to pictures, stills, comics, cartoon images, which forms a corresponding relationship with a specific character, no matter whether he or she is a celebrity or an ordinary person. This right cannot be used without permission of the named person.

Secondly, copyright to film and television work may be infringed. The rights of publication, authorship, modification, integrity of work, information network communication, adaptation and others belong to copyright according to the Copyright Law. In addition, still of film and television work can only be transformed into facial expression under consent of holder of right of portrait and copyright owner of the film and television work.

Furthermore, right of reputation of others may be violated. According to the relevant judicial interpretation, if facial expression is obtained based on the prototype of image of others and accompanied by malicious words or distortion of the original image, causing adverse effect on them, right of reputation is regarded as infringed.

Therefore, when the following requirements are met, facial expressions are reckoned to be used legally:

  1. When the permission of the holder of right of portrait is obtained.
  2. When facial expressions aren’t used for profit.
  3. When facial expressions do not defame personality of others.

The facial expressions can be used at any time, but relevant legal issues should be considered.

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