News & Analysis

The Threat Posed to History & Storytellers

May 15, 2018 5:24 pm
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In this final guest post, "Real People, Real History, Real Problems," on The Volokh Conspiracy about issues raised in my book, I consider the danger that the right of publicity will block or substantially limit depictions of real people. The expansion of the right of publicity's scope over...

The Topsy-Turvy Market in Dead People

May 10, 2018 8:32 pm
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My post today on The Volokh Conspiracy considers "The Market in Dead People," and the "ghoulish futures market in aging celebrities."  Read it in full here: This is the fourth of five installments of issues raised by my book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a...

Reanimating Actors and the Dangers of a Transferable Right of Publicity

May 9, 2018 7:18 pm
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In "Only Robin Wright Should Own Robin Wright," I consider the dangers of the digital reanimation of actors and the creation of a transferable right to one's own name, likeness, and voice. This is the third post on The Volokh Conspiracy considering various issues raised by my just released...

Can Privacy Survive the Digital Age?

May 8, 2018 5:17 pm
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In my second post on The Volokh Conspiracy on topics related to my book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World (Harvard Univ. Press 2018), I consider whether privacy can survive the digital age. Much of the story that my book uncovers provides insights into...

Official Release of The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World

May 7, 2018 7:30 pm
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My book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World, was officially released today by Harvard University Press. Jack Balkin of Yale Law School has described the book as the "definitive biography of the right of publicity" and as a story told with "zest, explaining how...

De Havilland Seeks Review of Feud Decision

May 4, 2018 9:58 pm
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Olivia de Havilland's lawyers have filed a petition seeking review in the California Supreme Court of a California Court of Appeal's recent decision holding that the First Amendment bars her false light and right of publicity claims arising out of the use of a character based on her...

Texas Appellate Court Strikes Down State’s Revenge Porn Law

April 20, 2018 6:06 pm
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This week a Texas Court of Appeals in Ex Parte Jones struck down the state’s law making it a criminal offense to “disclose intimate visual material” without the permission of the person depicted when that person expected the image to remain “private.”  Texas Penal Code § 21.16 (b)...

Lohan Loses Yet Another Right of Publicity Claim

April 7, 2018 4:17 am
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The actor Lindsay Lohan continued her losing streak with another right of publicity lawsuit being tossed out. Last week the New York Court of Appeals in Lohan v. Take-Two Interactive Software, put to bed her claim against the makers of the video game Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV)....

First Amendment Protects Use of Olivia de Havilland in FEUD Docudrama

March 26, 2018 9:07 pm
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In a resounding victory for FX, the California Court of Appeal today reversed the trial court’s decision in de Havilland v. FX Networks on all counts.  The panel held that the anti-SLAPP motion to strike de Havilland's claims should have been granted both as to the right of...

Louisiana Reintroduces Right of Publicity Bill

March 9, 2018 12:16 am
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On February 28, 2018, Louisiana reintroduced a draft right of publicity bill titled the Allen Toussaint Legacy Act. I have written about efforts to pass such a bill in Lousiana previously.  Those efforts thus far have failed. The new bill is currently with the Committee on Civil Law...