News & Analysis

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...

Singer-Songwriter Sues for Unwitting Product Placement Arising out of Interview

October 28, 2015 1:21 am
Esnavi aka Madyun Right of Publicity claim
Nafeesha Madyun, aka Esnavi has sued for right of publicity violations under New York Civil Rights Law Sections 50 & 51 for the allegedly unwitting product placement of a Hyundai in her consenusal interview when that interview was repurposed in an ad campaign by the automaker.  The case...

Hasbro Contends that Same-Named Hamster Does Not Evoke Newscaster’s Identity

October 28, 2015 12:47 am
Side by Side comparison of Harris Faulkner hamster and newscaster in right of publicity case
Hasbro filed a motion Monday to dismiss newscaster Harris Faulkner's right of publicity claim against the toy maker for giving a stuffed hamster toy the same name as her. The defendant contends that because the hamster toy looks nothing like the newscaster and the use of her name...