CW Capital and Rose End Unauthorized Use of Residents’ Photos in Marketing of Stuy-Town Apartments
Rose Associates’ practice of videographing and photographing residents for marketing materials has ended, thanks to the advocacy of the Tenants Association.
For more than a year, Rose Associates had been videographing and photographing Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper residents entering Stuyvesant Oval and using these photos and videos in management’s advertising and promotional material. Residents never explicitly granted their permission to use the images. Rather, residents periodically noted the following sign posted in the Oval:
“The Stuyvesant Oval and surrounding areas will be videotaped. If you walk in this area you may be on film. By entering the Oval area during this time period, you grant Rose Associates, Inc. and its representatives the right to take video footage of you and you agree that Rose Associates, Inc. may use such video for any lawful purpose, including, for example, such purposes as advertising, publicity, illustration and Web content.”
Acting on complaints from residents who were unpleasantly surprised to find their images and those of their children appearing on the PCVST.com website, on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and in a scrolling display in the window of the renting office on First Avenue, the TA brought the matter to the attention of the new General Manager Sean Sullivan in a letter.
At a meeting on quality-of-life issues, several Board members discussed the issue with Mr. Sullivan, who said he would look into the matter. Within a few days the offending photos had been removed from management’s web sites and other advertising material. The Oval signage was also taken down and there has been no further evidence of active videographing or photographing of residents at Oval events since that time.
Tenants Association Board Chair, Susan Steinberg commended Mr. Sullivan for his “quick and decisive” response. “This ends an uncomfortable, and potentially illegal, practice which meant that anytime you attended an event, strolled through the Greenmarket, or even just went home, you could find your image used in promotional materials. That had to end, and we thank Sean Sullivan for his thoughtfulness and responsiveness in working with us on this.”