Takedown Notices Issued for Princess Kate’s Photo

It’s been quite the royal scandal this week after Kensington Palace released a photo of Princess Kate with her three children George, Charlotte and Louis on Mother’s Day (in the UK). Not long after, multiple major news agencies including the Associated Press (AP), the AFP, Reuters, and Getty Images issued takedown notices (also referred to as a “kill notification”) to remove the image due to concerns it had been digitally altered. AP said in a statement they “retracted the image because at closer inspection, it appears that the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet AP’s photo standards.”

Kate later released a statement acknowledging the photo saying; “like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”


(Click here for an analysis of the edited photo above)



So What is a Takedown Notice?


A takedown notice or request is a notice provided to a web host, company, search engine, infringing party or internet service provider that they are hosting or linking to copyrighted material.

In America, a takedown notice is commonly referred to as a “DMCA takedown” (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

This copyrighted material could include:

+ Written words (articles, books, poetry, etc.)
+ Artwork
+ Photos
+ Videos
+ Software

In the case noted above, this was for the photograph.

Note; You don’t need a lawyer to send a takedown notice as it’s possible to do this yourself. Check out one of our most popular blog articles here: Copyright Takedown Notice Template.

A takedown notice, when reasonable and valid, requires ISPs by law to act quickly to remove or block access to any infringing material hosted online.


Other Celebrities Who Have Issued Takedown Notices


Kate is not the first public figure to have takedown notices issued.

In 2010 Axl Rose, the Guns N’ Roses frontman, attempted to get Google to remove an unflattering concert photo of him that became an unfortunate meme. He apparently issued six Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices to Google over the image in question, claiming he didn’t grant permission for its use.

In 2021 lawyers for Khloe Kardashian issued takedown notices across several social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, to have an image of her removed from the internet as it was posted without the star’s approval.

Tracy Romulus, chief marketing officer for KKW Brands, was quoted at the time as saying that the picture was taken “during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant. Khloe looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down.”

Khloe later addressed the release of the image, acknowledging that her body image issues are part of the reason why she didn’t want an unflattering photo circulating around the internet.

Read more here.

At Litton Legal we’re experts in Intellectual Property. Contact our friendly team here for further assistance with any IP related matters.