Right of Publicity Copyright

News & Analysis as of

Advertising Law - October 2015 #4

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Application of VPPA to Free App - The latest decision interpreting the application of the Video Privacy Protection Act in the context of twenty-first century technology provides positive news for...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Social Media and Intellectual Property Issues

Social media platforms are very useful, but they also create legal issues. Without question, social media has changed the way businesses communicate with their clients and consumers. Likewise, social media has changed the way...more

Fifty-eight Problems and Trademarks Are Just One: Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye, Pharrell and Rihanna Sue Fashion Retailer

It’s become a hard-knock life for ElevenParis, a French fashion retailer with stores in the U.S. After selling t-shirts and other merchandise with these not-so-subtle designs...more

Rights of Publicity: A Potentially Catastrophic Pitfall for the Unwary Marketer as told by Jordan v. Dominick’s Finer Foods

Most marketing departments for large companies have at least a basic understanding, if not a proficient grasp, of the type of legal vetting that needs to be conducted before using an image in an ad or marketing piece. They...more

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For A Little Respect From Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

On September 4, 2015, a long running legal battle over the right to use footage from a 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin took a twist right out of a Hollywood movie when the Queen of Soul sought, and was granted, a temporary...more

Silvero v. Fox Television Studios, Inc., et al. - Los Angeles Superior Court, August 6, 2015

Frank Silvero, an actor who played the character Frankie Carbone in the film “Goodfellas” and other similar mobster characters during his career, filed suit against Fox Television alleging that the writers of the animated...more

Trump Goes A Rockin’: Neil Young Comes A Knockin’

Donald Trump, the New York real estate mogul and self-proclaimed business genius, just kicked off his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination at Trump Tower in Manhattan to the tune of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The...more

Three Point Shot - May 2015

"Wild Thing" Forced to Tap Out in Battle against ESPN - Last month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals forced former professional wrestler Steve "Wild Thing" Ray to tap out in his battle against ESPN by dismissing the...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

Like It or Love It: How Not to Get Pinned (Legally) When Using Social Media to Promote Your Brand

Twitter®, Instagram®, Facebook®, Pinterest® and other social media websites and apps are great ways to interact with friends, family and potential customers. They are great avenues for advertising and promotion of one’s...more

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - and Maybe $150,000!: Helpful Hints and Guidelines on the Use of Internet Images

A bank manager decides to update the bank’s website. The IT manager assigned the project wants to include photographs and images to enhance the information on the website. The IT manager uses several photographs from the...more

Court Finds Misappropriation Claims Arising From Licensing of Copyrighted Photographs Are Preempted

Judge André Birotte Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has dismissed a lawsuit brought by former college athletes alleging that the licensing of copyrighted photographs from their NCAA...more

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

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

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

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

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

Can Private Photos Be Used In Political Ads Without Permission? Colorado Court Rejects Gay Couple’s Misappropriation Claim;...

When we upload family pictures to the internet, we understand that, in theory, anyone in the world might download them and use them for some nefarious purpose. However, we usually take comfort in the fact that most of us...more

Purple Haze Lifted by Ninth Circuit Regarding Jimi Hendrix’s Post-Mortem Publicity Rights

In Experience Hendrix L.L.C. v. HendrixLicensing.com LTD, Nos. 11–35858, 11–35872 (9th Cir. Jan. 29, 2014), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of Washington State’s Personality Rights Act (WPRA),...more

Liability Insurer May Have to Cover Knockoff Jewelry Site for Allegedly Violating Reese Witherspoon’s Right of Publicity

Have you always wanted to own “The One Ring to Rule Them All” of Lord of the Rings fame? Do you dream of an engagement ring just like Kate Middleton’s? Your dreams can come true with a visit to Emitations.com, a website...more

Experience Jimi Hendrix, Post-Mortem Publicity Rights - Experience Hendrix LLC et al. v. HendrixLicensing.com LTD et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reversing a district court’s ruling finding unconstitutional the provisions of the Washington Personality Rights Act pertaining to post-mortem publicity rights, qualified that...more

Where Everybody Knows Your Name(s)

Who would you expect to find sitting at the end of the bar in this recently re-named Minneapolis sports bar, formerly known as Halek’s Bar? What if you were to queue a very familiar tune to these lyrics, would that...more

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