Reaching from the Grave, Should Publicity Rights End Upon Death?

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Over the years, several businesses have tried to gain a competitive edge by associating their products with famous celebrities… but without obtaining licenses. There has been the “Bogart” collection of furniture sold by Ashley Furniture (presumably relying on Humphrey Bogart’s name to sell a common looking line of couches and recliner) and the “B Davis Dress” sold by Stop Sharing! Designs (presumably relying on Betty Davis’ name to sell a vintage dress). More recently, the company HendrixLicensing.com sold various items, including apparel, posters and novelty items, using Jimi Hendrix’s name and image. Such business were sued, with claims that rights of publicity were violated. What makes this cluster of lawsuits more interesting, though, is that all the celebrities are dead.

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Published In: Art, Entertainment & Sports Updates, Constitutional Law Updates, Intellectual Property Updates, Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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