News & Commentary

Seventh Circuit Rejects Claims Against College Board by Private Individuals for Sale of Personal Information

November 20, 2015 6:34 pm
ACT SAT right of publicity and privacy suit seventh circuit
On Wednesday, the Seventh Circuit held in Silha v. ACT, Inc. (7th Cir. 2015) that students who had taken the ACT and SAT did not have standing to sue for the alleged sale of their personal information. The Seventh Circuit pointed to the fact that even though the use...

Some Wyoming Legislators Want to Resurrect Privacy Bill and Send to Voters

November 19, 2015 9:30 pm
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports today that the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivision Interim Committee voted to sponsor a bill that would allow voters to pass a privacy amendment to the state constitution.  Such an amendment was rejected by the state Senate in January of...

Article in Virginia Law Review Documents Expansive Reach of the Right of Publicity

November 19, 2015 6:56 pm
Right of Publicity article jennifer rothman virginia law review logo commercial speech commercial use and the intellectual property quagmire
My latest article, Commercial Speech, Commercial Use and the Intellectual Property Quagmire, is in print this week in the Virginia Law Review. The article considers the role in intellectual property laws of commercial speech doctrine and considerations of commerciality more generally (usually in the sense of a use that...

More Musicians Object to Uses of their Music in Political Campaigns

November 19, 2015 3:36 am
right of publicity claim versus Huckabee for eye of tiger copyright
Today, Rude Music filed a complaint in a federal district court in Illinois for the use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” by Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. The song by the band Survivor was the theme song in the movie Rocky III which topped the charts at...

An Image Protection Service Sues LA Jewelry Store for Using Former Playboy Model’s Likeness

November 9, 2015 11:57 pm
Timed Out Tiffany Toth Right of Publicity Complaint against LA Girl Jewelry
Timed Out LLC, a California company, that advertises its image protection services to models has sued LA Girl Jewelry for using Tiffany Toth's image and likeness in its advertisements. The complaint alleges that Toth assigned her right to sue to Timed Out. This complaint is another in the...

Constitutional Law and Intellectual Property Law Professors Call on Supreme Court to Review Davis

November 4, 2015 9:53 pm
Supreme Court Davis v EA right of publicity cert petition
Professor Eugene Volokh (UCLA) and I filed a brief today in support of granting certiorari in Davis v. Electronic Arts. The brief was signed on to by many leading constitutional law and IP law scholars. We call on the Supreme Court to address the disarray among lower courts...

Another Biopic lawsuit – This Time Straight Outta Compton

November 3, 2015 2:25 am
Heller v NBC Universal Straight Outta Compton Right of Publicity Complaint
With success often comes lawsuits and the movie Straight Outta Compton is no exception. On Friday, the music manager Jerry Heller sued NBC Universal and others involved with the film claiming that the character in the film played by actor Paul Giamatti misappropriates his identity by using his...

NFL Players Sue FanDuel for its Fantasy Football Game

October 30, 2015 10:45 pm
NFL Players Garcon v. FanDuel Right of Publicity Claim
Pierre Garcon and other NFL Players filed suit today in federal district court in Maryland claiming that their names and likenesses were misapproriated in FanDuel's fantasy football game.  The complaint includes both right of publicity and false endorsement claims.  No question that here is another looming First Amendment...

And the Suits Against Strip Clubs Keep Coming

October 30, 2015 7:32 pm
Voronina v. Stan -Right of PUblicity claim against The Playhouse
Another group of models has sued for the unauthorized use of their images by a strip club -- this time in Florida for the use of their images to promote The Playhouse strip club.  The Complaint includes right of publicity claims under Florida Stat. §540.08 and the common...

Another Right of Publicity Suit Against a Strip Club

October 29, 2015 4:06 am
Play Pen Timed Out v. Pajounia Right of Publicity Case
Yet another right of publicity lawsuit against a strip club was filed yesterday for the alleged use of models' images to promote the club without their permission. This suit was filed in California state court against the Play Pen gentleman’s club in Los Angeles, a venue that unsuccessfully...