The innocent unauthorized use of my image on a poster – layers of conflict in powerlifting politics and ethical procedure

Today I opened my facebook and saw my picture on a poster. My first reaction was just being mildly surprised: after all, people know me and the pictures are beautiful. They were taken by my sister, who is a professional photographer and a real artist.

I looked closer and I realized the poster advertised a powerlifting meet by FALPO, which is the local Argetina IPF branch. That was the turning point between my surprised observation and my violent outrage.

The context of my reaction is the long term hostility I have to cope with from Brazilian IPF branch leaders, that go from inevitable gossip and badmouthing to illegal insults and actions that reach even my professional life. To ignore that is frequently impossible. First, because trying to influence my professional activity is quite serious. Second, because, after all, I’m a human being and bullying eventually gets to that sensitive point where you can no longer avoid emotional response.

I contacted the local organizer, who produced the poster, the Argentina IPF branch president and IPF international. Their response was very interesting: the local leader apologized profusely. He explained that he used my image because he admired me and Mauro Spinardi, who is actually the greatest powerlifter our continent produced. We were together at the GPA (Global Powerlifting Alliance) World Powerlifting Championship where the picture was taken and where Mauro (and I!) broke a historical world record on the squat. I replied that I felt sorry for him. Unfortunately, he found himself trapped in a long-term conflict with no predictable solution.

The Argentina IPF branch president replied in a rude tone, manifesting his outrage (!) for being demanded to take action against the unauthorized use of my image by his organization. He further said he would take no action.
The IPF international administration was diplomatic: they politely replied, saying that it was a local matter that should be handled by the Argentina branch.

The Argentina IPF branch president’s response is almost a “case study” of powerlifting conflict administration. It is obvious that he is aware of the context underlying my protest and demand. And his response could be synthesized in a word: “fuck you”.

Did I overreact? Maybe. Or maybe I just reacted. A reaction that was determined by the sad context of conflict and total lack of interest in solving it from those who generated the original hostilities.

In a nutshell, the outcome “was written with blood on the walls”.


Marilia Coutinho
9:51 PM (19 minutes ago)

to L, Leonardo, Emanuel, Argentina

Dear Mr. Scheiber,

I did, and I got a very interesting reply, which I copy bellow (I did copy it to GPA’s president, Mr. LB Baker, since the picture was taken during the GPA Worlds and I am the GPA Brazilian representative). Basically, Mr. Inguante has rudely replied that he refuses to take action and he resents my demand.

I believe you already understand that I am particularly outraged because my image was used by a federation whose leaders, in my country, have openly and violently hostilized me.


Dr. Marilia Coutinho


Dear Marilia Coutinho!

This is a national matter an so I kindly ask you to contact the Argentina Powerlifting Federation!

Federacion Argentina de Levantamientos de PotenciaPresident Roberto AlessioMalvinas 42; Capital Federal1406 Buenos AiresArgentina+54 1115 6168 4481

Thank you for your understanding!


Emanuel Scheiber
Secretary General IPF
Tel.: +43 650 420 96 00
Fax.: +43 5253 65 059
[email protected]


Marilia Coutinho
9:34 PM (34 minutes ago)

to Jose, Leonardo, L

Buenas noches Sr. José Luis,

Excelente respuesta oficial. En otras palabras, me dices que te ofendes por mi exigencia absolutamente legitima de que la apropriacion indevida de mi imagen, hecha por tu federacion, sea corrigida.

Buenisimo, y belisimamente documentado.




Dear Mr. Baker, president of the Global Powerlifting Alliance,

The official response from the Argentina IPF branch is that they refuse to take action against the unauthorized use of my image (my deadlift during the GPA 2011 World Powerlifting Championship).

Not only their president, Mr. Inguante, refuses to take action, but he actually manifested feeling insulted by my demand that he did so.



2012/5/31 Jose Luis Inguanti

Hola Marilina!!
Mira a mi no me exijas nada.
Yo no hice el afiche, ni lo publique, ni lo reenvie, es mas, recien me entero de esto, asi que poco puedo hacer. Suerte
SaludosJosé Luis

—– Original Message —–
From: Marilia Coutinho
To: [email protected] ; [email protected]
Cc: Leonardo Cavaglia ; Mauro Spinardi ; L B Baker
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:50 AM
Subject: Re: uso ilegal y no autorizado de mi imagen

On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM, Marilia Coutinho wrote:
Señor Jose,

Exijo que ese poster sea imediatamente eliminado de todas las midias sociales y no sea veiculado in ninguna forma (imprimida o digital). La imagen de la derecha es mia, es de mi despegue en el campeonato mundial de la Global Powerlifting Alliance y nadie me he solicitado autorizacion para su utilizacion.


Dra. Marilia Coutinho

Mr. Jose

I demand that the attached poster be immediately eliminated from all social media and never reproduced again, be it in printed or digital form. The image to the right is a picture of me doing a deadlift during the 2011 GPA (Global Powerlifting Alliance) World Powerlifting Championship and I have never been asked authorization for its use (which I would NOT grant).

I am copying Mr. LB Baker, GPA president, Mr. Mauro Spinardi, GPA South America representative, and Mr. Leonardo Cavaglia, ASUPO’s president in this message.


Dr. Marilia Coutinho

— =======Marília Coutinho, Ph.D.

Merton/BodyStuffCNPJ 007.659.805/0001-90CREF 059869-P/ / / www.qualiresearch.come-mails: [email protected] , [email protected] tels: 11-3681 0178 / 9979 7475

Aliança Nacional da ForçaPresidenteCNPJ 11.077.508/ / e-mail: [email protected]

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