News & Analysis

Another Actor Fights Back Against Nude Photos

August 30, 2017 7:40 pm
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An unknown, but allegedly famous television actress has sued a website for posting nude photographs of her on its website and using her name to drive traffic to a pornographic site. The complaint in Jane Doe v. Roe Corporation was filed in a Los Angeles superior court. It...

Olivia de Havilland Back in the Spotlight

July 5, 2017 10:22 pm
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One of Hollywood’s most successful plaintiffs and actresses is at it again. Olivia de Havilland, the two-time Oscar winner, who appeared in such Hollywood classics as Gone with the Wind and The Heiress, has sued FX Networks and Ryan Murphy in California Superior Court over her portrayal in...

New York Legislature Feels the Heat and Pulls Right of Publicity Bill

June 22, 2017 4:48 am
Advertisement Opposed New York Right of Publicity Bill
Feeling the heat from many different sides, the New York legislature today smartly pulled the seriously flawed right of publicity bill (with the SAG-AFTRA provision that undermined the statutory speech protections).  As Professors Christopher Sprigman, Christopher Buccafusco, and I wrote in an editorial in the Albany Times-Union, the...

New York Legislature Amends Right of Publicity Bill for the Worse

June 15, 2017 12:25 am
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Today the New York Legislature amended its proposed right of publicity bill, A08155, and not for the better.  Instead, it added language that undermines statutory protections for expressive works. The bill is deeply flawed to begin with and this only makes matters worse--far worse. The amendment would deny...

Letters Submitted in Opposition to Proposed New York Right of Publicity Bill

June 9, 2017 7:27 pm
letter to new york legislature on right of publicity bill 08155
Today, I submitted a letter opposing the current draft of a "right of publicity" bill being rushed through the New York legislature before it closes up shop for the summer. Since my earlier post about the bill SAG-AFTRA has proposed adding language that would eviscerate the exemptions in...

New York Once Again Floats Right of Publicity Law

June 7, 2017 7:55 pm
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The New York Assembly introduced yet another right of publicity bill last week, Assembly Bill A08155. Such legislation is introduced almost every year in New York―focused on trying to add a post-mortem right which currently does not exist under New York law. Thus far, these bills have all...

Louisiana Right of Publicity Moves Forward

May 17, 2017 5:25 am
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The proposed “Allen Toussaint Legacy Act” has passed another hurdle in the Louisiana legislature. The bill passed the House last week and was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. The Act is named after the famed New Orleans musician, songwriter and producer, who died in 2015. The...

Warhol Foundation Claims Fair Use of Photographs of Dead Pop Star Prince

April 21, 2017 11:58 pm
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Oh, how the chickens come home to roost. In Comedy III v. Saderup, Inc., the California Supreme Court distinguished Andy Warhol’s celebrity portraits from those of Gary Saderup’s realistic portraits of The Three Stooges. Now this unconvincing and unpredictable distinction between Warhol’s celebrity portraits and those by other...

Copyright Law Blocks Student-Athlete Suit over Sale of Game Photos

April 6, 2017 3:38 am
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Today, the Ninth Circuit held in Maloney v. T3 Media that former collegiate athletes’ right of publicity claims arising out of the licensing of their photos by T3 Media were barred by copyright law. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court opinion in the case. Unfortunately, rather than...

Usher Sues Sony for Right of Publicity Violation for Use of Voice

October 13, 2016 4:28 am
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No, not that Usher. Jasmine Usher, a Georgia-based singer, is suing Sony Music and the band Travis Porter for the use of her voice on the hit song “Ayye Ladies”. The song reached number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200. Usher claims that her voice was recorded and...