Hillside (New Media Malta), the owner of Bet365, was ordered by the Maritime and Commercial High Court in Denmark to pay a compensation of nearly $700,000 to more than 20 Danish sports personalities for using their images and names without permission. Overall, 23 athletes were involved in the process and according to the Court, had their images and names posted on social media without their consent.
The exact sum the company was ordered to pay is DKK 4.7 million, which is just above $692,000. Under the Marketing Act, currently in effect in the country, each of the athletes was awarded compensation in light of the breaches, the Court explained.
The Maritime and Commercial Court claimed that the breaches occurred between February 21, 2019 and March 11, 2021. During that time, Bet365 submitted different posts via its social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook that featured the name and images of different Danish athletes. However, the Court claimed that these posts were submitted “without consent,” or otherwise in breach of the regulations.
“In the period from 21 February 2019 to 11 March 2021, BET365 posted a number of posts on its company profiles on Facebook and Twitter, which without consent reproduced the personal names and/or photos of the athletes,“
reads a court ruling against Hillside from the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court
The Operator Is Ordered to Pay Compensation
Although Bet365 claimed that the use of the images and names was of an “editorial nature,” the court disagreed. The Maritime and Commercial Court of Denmark said in its ruling that the athletes’ names and images were used within a “marketing context,” which is why financial compensation was imposed against the company. Most of the compensations varied between DKK 50,000 ($7,400) and DKK 100,000 ($14,800). However, in some cases, where an athlete’s image was used on multiple occasions, higher compensation was imposed.
The biggest compensation was issued to Christian Eriksen, the famous Danish soccer star that is currently a part of the English Premier League’s Manchester United. The court said that his image or name appeared within social media posts from Bet365 on 29 different occasions, which is why he was awarded a compensation of DKK 1.5 million ($220,600). Additionally, Bet365 was ordered to pay Kasper Peter Schmeichel DKK 500,000 ($73,600) who appeared 10 times in different social media posts, while the famous athlete Simon Thorup Kjaer was subject to DKK 300,000 ($44,130) compensation.