North Dakota

North Dakota has not explicitly recognized a right to privacy or a right of publicity, but has suggested the possibility that a privacy-based appropriation tort might be recognized.



Common Law - Right of Publicity


Common Law - Right of Privacy-Appropriation Tort


The state has thus far refused to either accept or reject a common law right to privacy.

Hougum v. Valley Mem’l Homes, 574 N.W.2d 812 (N.D. 1998)

American Mut. Life Ins. v. Jordan, 315 N.W.2d 290 (N.D. 1982)

Volk v. Auto-Dine Corp., 177 N.W.2d 525 (N.D. 1970)

Nelson v. J.C. Penney Co., Inc., 75 F.3d 343 (8th Cir. 1996)

Post-Mortem Right

No court has considered the issue.

First Amendment Analysis

Although no court has analyzed the First Amendment in the context of a misappropriation tort under North Dakota law, North Dakota sits in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In C.B.C. Distribution & Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., 503 F.3d 818 (8th Cir. 2007), the Eight Circuit held that the use of players’ names and statistics by a fantasy sports league was protected by the First Amendment against a claim under Missouri’s right of publicity.

C.B.C. Distrib. & Mktg., Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., 505 F.3d 818 (8th Cir. 2007)