Tag: Copyright Preemption

African-American Model Claims Right of Publicity Violation and Race Discrimination when She is Replaced by White Model

African-American model Amanda Ermon has sued several real estate firms for using photographs of her that were sold to them by a photographer without her permission. The photographer allegedly had taken the pictures with her permission, but only had authorization to display the photographs in his studio. Ermon allegedly retained the copyright to the photographs....

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

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 increasing trend of suits brought by companies...

Another Biopic lawsuit – This Time Straight Outta Compton

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 name and likeness. The complaint also alleges...

8th Circuit Appears Divided in Dryer v. NFL Oral Arguments

The oral arguments from last Thursday’s hearing before the 8th Circuit in Dryer highlight a host of flashpoints in right of publicity law. The arguments focused on whether the use of historical film clips constituted commercial speech.  The plaintiffs’ attorney claimed that the use by the NFL was clearly commercial speech and therefore not entitled...

Student-Athletes File Appeal in Marshall v. ESPN

The student-athlete plaintiffs in Marshall have filed their opening brief in their appeal to the Sixth Circuit.  The Tennessee district court had earlier rejected the claim that television broadcasts of collegiate games violated the players’ rights of publicity under Tennessee law.  The brief contends that the district court erred by excluding the sports broadcasts from...

Aretha Franklin Gets Documentary Film Pulled from Film Festivals

A lawsuit filed by famous recording artist, Aretha Franklin, against a documentary filmmaker, Allan Elliott, led to the pulling of his documentary film, “Amazing Grace,” from the line-ups at numerous prestigious film festivals, including Telluride and Toronto.  Ms. Franklin claims that the film violated her right of publicity by using some concert footage of her...

Student-Athletes Lose Right of Publicity Claim for Licensed Use of NCAA Photographs

On March 6, 2015, a district court in California held that the student-athletes claims against T3Media for its Paya.com website were preempted by copyright law.  The NCAA gaver T3Media permission to display and sell photographs of NCAA athletes.  In an opinion that only adds to the confusion over how to assess when right of publicity...

Federal Court in Tennessee rejects student-athletes’ right of publicity claim against ESPN for game broadcasts

In June of 2015, a district court in Tennessee rejected a class action claim by student-athletes that their rights of publicity were being violated by the broadcast of collegiate games.  The court held that the use of their names and likenesses in the context of the broadcasts was outside the scope of the statutory right...