Right of Publicity

News & Analysis as of

USA: Do Athletes Have Rights of Publicity in Live Broadcast Footage? Minnesota Court Offers Guidance

U.S. courts have recognized that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Indeed, courts have adopted varying approaches to analyzing right of...more

Henley Is Not Taking It Easy

According to music icon Don Henley, intellectual property rights are not a joking matter....more

Advertising Law - December 2014

SPECIAL FOCUS: Adding You to My Professional Network Emails May End Up Being Costly for LinkedIn as Publicity Rights Suit Moves Forward: A putative class action alleging that LinkedIn Corp. violated their right of...more

Goodfellas Actor Files Suit Over a Character from The Simpsons: The Limitations on Rights of Publicity Claims

On October 21, 2014, Frank Sivero, an actor who played Frankie Carbone in Goodfellas, filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox and Abram Groening, the co-creator of The Simpsons, claiming that the wiseguy “Louie” character on...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

Litigation Alert: California Superior Court Finds Use of Likeness of Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in Video Game...

Manuel Noriega v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. BC 551747 (Cal Super. Ct. filed October 27, 2014) - In recent years, federal and state courts have wrestled with how to assess right of publicity claims in the video...more

Advertising Law - October 2014 #4

Red Bull’s $13M False Ad Deal Crashes Site - Red Bull may claim to give you wings, but a false advertising settlement with the company apparently couldn’t stop its servers from crashing....more

NFL Films Ruling Blurs Right of Publicity

Earlier this year the Seventh Circuit stated that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 514...more

Gangster Or Not

As a huge fan of gangster movies, I was intrigued by a recently filed lawsuit in California. Although I am familiar with actor Frank Sivero’s work in “The Godfather: Part II” and in “Goodfellas”, I am not familiar with the...more

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of NFL and against former professional football players who claimed that NFL’s use of video footage...more

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

California Employers’ Use of Employees’ Photographs on Company Website Requires Prior Employee Consent

In California, employers’ use of employee’s photographs for marketing purposes such as on its Company website or promotional literature requires prior employee consent for each use, unless the employer meets very limited...more

Intellectual Property and Technology News - Issue 22, Q2 2014

In This Issue: - Celebrity Endorsements on Social Media: 7 Tips For Navigating The Right Of Publicity - Landmark Privacy Ruling In Europe - US Congress May Act Again On Patent Reform - Supreme Court...more

Intellectual Property Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Rules in ABC v. Aereo

On June 26, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided American Broadcasting Companies, et al. v. Aereo. The 6-3 ruling holds that Aereo’s business model of streaming live broadcast television content over the Internet to its...more

Celebrity endorsements on social media: 7 tips for navigating the right of publicity

Social media makes building a brand easy: the tools are laid out in front of you, ready to launch your company to worldwide fame with a click of the mouse. Craft a few irreverent tweets, refresh the company Facebook page and...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2014

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie - “Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the...more

Advertising Law - May 2014

Schwarzenegger Sues Over Publicity Rights - The Governator has filed a $10 million suit alleging that Nevada-based Arnold Nutrition Group “brazenly stole[] and exploited” his likeness to market its products in...more

Can a selfie change the rules of the commercial speech game?

David Ortiz, known affectionately as “Big Papi,” is larger than life. As a clutch hitter for the Boston Red Sox, Ortiz’s swing is only matched by his big, friendly personality — both of which have served him well. With...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - May 2014 (Global)

UK: London's IP anti-crime unit shuts down leading sports file sharing site - The City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has successfully shut down the Sports Torrent Network, a leading sports...more

Privacy or Property? Arizona Court Adopts Post-Mortem Right of Publicity In Intra-Family Online Dispute

The right of publicity, i.e., the right not to have others appropriate your name or image for commercial purposes, is an odd duck. It was described by Professor Prosser in 1960, and later in the Restatement of Torts, as of...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Those Rights of Publicity

Earlier this month, Katherine Heigl sued Duane Reade for $6,000,000 for tweeting a paparazzi photo of her leaving a Duane Reade drugstore, together with the caption “Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even KatieHeigle can’t resist...more

MarkIt to Market - April 2014

The April issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter contains a cautionary tale regarding use of social media, a clarified test for false advertising standing, updates to Canada's Trade-marks Act, and an updated...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

Risks Of Tribute Advertisements Are Focus Of Seventh Circuit Decision

Think the First Amendment protects your business from liability for running an ad congratulating a celebrity or other public figure? Better think again. ...more

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