'The Office' Star B.J. Novak Discovers Unlicensed Use Of His Face On Packaging, Isn't Even Mad

by Rudy Sanchez on 10/28/2021 | 2 Minute Read

Who actually owns a face? 

As it turns out, it’s not always the person to whom the mug is attached that owns the rights to commercialize it. Photographers are free to reserve all copyrights to their work, while others may choose less restrictive licensing, such as Creative Commons, or simply release their work into the public domain. 

Search engines and stock photography sites are typically good at communicating the terms for an image’s use, but a mix-up mistagging a photograph of The Office writer and star B.J. Novak as being in the public domain has led to amusing packaging featuring his visage.

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The Inglorious Basterds co-star recently shared via an Instagram story a series of product packaging, which included a plastic rain poncho, electric beard shaver, face paint, and cologne. Every piece of packaging prominently featured Novak’s visage, which he explained was due to a photograph of him getting listed as public domain on a website incorrectly. The actor also said he found the situation funny and “too amused to do anything about it.”

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Novak may have only just revealed that he’s seen his “product modeling,” but diehard and eagle-eyed Dunder Mifflinites, of which there are many, have been sharing their serendipitous Novak sightings on social media communities such as the r/unexpectedoffice subreddit for some time now.

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