News & Analysis as of

Right of Publicity First Amendment

Claim Is Gone With The Wind At Death

Two time academy award winner Olivia de Havilland seeks an expedited trial for the lawsuit involving her right of publicity. Olivia de Havilland, DBE v. FX Networks, et al, BC667011 (Superior Ct. Calif., June 30, 2017). The...more

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by BakerHostetler on

“Iron Mike” Tyson is a controversial sports figure who seems in equal parts loved and loathed by the public. Celebrated for a genuine world-class talent and derided for his behavior in and out of the ring, Tyson has a public...more

Media Law Bulletin: “All I’ve Got Is a Photograph” — Copyright Law’s Preemption of Right of Publicity Claims

by Sedgwick LLP on

The names and likenesses of celebrities, athletes and other public figures can be extremely valuable, as evidenced by the premium prices paid by many companies for celebrity endorsements and celebrity-branded goods. Think...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - July 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Hits Reset on Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland - In the recent TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC decision, the Supreme Court reversed nearly thirty years of patent venue law and held that a...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Rules on Copyright Preemption of Right-of-Publicity Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Last week, in Maloney v. T3 Media, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that claims under state right-of-publicity law are preempted by the Copyright Act “when a likeness has been captured in a...more

Attorneys Cannot Sue Avvo for Unauthorized Profiles According to Illinois Federal Court

An Illinois federal judge dismissed a proposed class action of lawyers whose business information was published by the online attorney database Avvo without their permission. The lead plaintiff, a Chicago-based personal...more

Airbnb Faces Suit for Using Julia Child’s Name in a Contest

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

Earlier this year, Airbnb ran a contest in which one winner could “come stay in the former home of Julia Child.” The company advertised that entrants could imagine themselves “walking the halls of Julia Child’s former home,”...more

First Amendment Prevents Right of Publicity Claim Arising from Film About “Issues of a Public Nature” - Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver v....

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In a lawsuit involving the 2010 Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that right of publicity claims arising from expressive works, including films, are in essence...more

Right of Publicity Claim over Straight Outta Compton Gets Kicked Straight Outta Court

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In August 2015, the film Straight Outta Compton was released. It’s a biopic about the struggles of several young African American males who formed the musical group “N.W.A.” back in the 1980s. ...more

Straight Outta the Central District: The First Amendment Shields Straight Outta Compton Filmmakers from Misappropriation of...

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

The filmmakers of 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, the biopic chronicling the career of hip-hop sensation N.W.A., scored a key victory in the Central District of California last Wednesday in the case of Heller v. NBCUniversal,...more

Hulk-Sized Damages in Sex Tape Privacy and Publicity Case

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In 2006, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as “Hulk Hogan,” had sex with his best friend’s wife, Heather Clem. Apparently unbeknownst to either of them, his best friend Todd Alan Clem, now legally known as “Bubba the Love...more

U.S. Supreme Court Punts on Dispute Involving NFL Players’ Publicity Rights

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Supreme Court passed on an opportunity to review a recent appellate court decision holding that a video game publisher is not protected by the First Amendment for using the likenesses of former NFL football stars in the...more

Hulk Hogan Wins Big Verdict

by Fisher Phillips on

In what might be a cautionary tale of the privacy risks for organizations who do business in buying and selling information, last Friday, a Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan, whose true name is Terry Bollea, $115 Million in...more

Former NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Get Sidelined—Will We Hear From The Replay Officials?   

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In Dryer v. The National Football League, three former gridiron gladiators who played in the NFL had their claims for right of publicity under state law tossed out by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. These three players...more

Rosa Parks Name and Likeness Free for Use? (Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development v. Target Corp.)

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the balance between privacy rights and matters of public interest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint, holding that the defendant...more

Ninth Circuit Finds First Amendment Protects Against Right Of Publicity Claim Involving Film “The Hurt Locker”

The Ninth Circuit has confirmed that right of publicity claims purporting to arise from expressive works, like films, are content-based restrictions on speech that are presumptively unconstitutional, and generally should not...more

Litigation Alert: Hurt Locker Decision Clarifies Differences in First Amendment Interests and Personal Interests Protected by the...

by Fenwick & West LLP on

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the right of filmmakers and writers to use the story of Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, an Army bomb disposal technician in Iraq, in the creation of the film The Hurt Locker. Sarver v. Chartier, 16...more

Ninth Circuit Shoots Down Right of Publicity Lawsuit Involving Academy Award Juggernaut The Hurt Locker

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

As we kick off “Oscar Week” here at TheTMCA.com, it is particularly apropos to discuss a decision just handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving the critically acclaimed movie, The Hurt Locker. It is a...more

Storytellers and Artists Rejoice: The Hurt Locker Is Fully Protected By The First Amendment

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture at the 2010 Academy Awards, follows Sergeant First Class William James (played by Jeremy Renner) in his role as a team leader of a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit in...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

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

Social Media Brings the Right of Publicity to the Masses

Do you consider yourself famous? If the answer is no, then you have likely never been concerned with the invasion of your right of publicity. The right of publicity is the right of a person in his or her identity—name or...more

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

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

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

Right of Publicity Claims by Athletes Nearly Shut Out in 2015

When we published our Sue-per Bowl post, 2015 looked like it would be a good year for right of publicity claims brought by athletes. On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Davis v. Electronic Arts held that the First...more

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