Tag: Right of Publicity

Harris Faulkner Says It Doesn’t Matter that Hamster Toy Doesn’t Look Like Her

Fox News reporter Harris Faulkner filed her Opposition to Hasbro’s Motion to Dismiss her right of publicity claim earlier this week. Faulkner’s attorneys emphasize that Hasbro can’t use her name for its toy hamster even if the hamster looks nothing like her. Hasbro’s main argument in its motion to dismiss was that because the hamster...

Sarver Tells Ninth Circuit – Hey, Don’t Forget About Me!

In a letter filed this week in the Ninth Circuit, Sarver’s attorney reminds the Ninth Circuit that this case, which was argued on May 9, 2013, still has not been decided by the Court of Appeals. Sarver v. The Hurt Locker, LLC, involves a right of publicity claim (among other claims) for the alleged use...

Respondents File Brief in Supreme Court in Davis v. Electronic Arts

Michael Davis and the other retired football players who sued Electronic Arts for the use of their identities in Madden NFL filed their opposition brief today in the Supreme Court. They argue against granting certiorari in the case. The Ninth Circuit previously held that the alleged use of the players' identities is not protected by...

Class Action by Lawyers Against Website with Attorney Profiles

A class action has been filed on behalf of California attorneys against the website Avvo, a service that provides attorney profiles sometimes without the attorneys' consent. Avvo collects public information about various attorneys such as name, specialities, years in practice and firm information and provides that information in a searchable database that sometimes also includes...

REVISED — L.A. Court Allows Reese Witherspoon to Proceed with Right of Publicity Claim Against Jeweler

(Revised to reflect final court order) On Tuesday, a court ruled that Reese Witherspoon could proceed with her right of publicity claims against a number of defendants who had used her name and image to sell various products, particularly jewelery.  One company allegedly named an engagement ring, Reese, in reference to the famous actor. The...

First Amendment Protects Use of Videogamer’s Likeness in Cartoon Network Animated Series

Billy Mitchell, a well-known videogame player with world records for classic arcade games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, sued Cartoon Network for allegedly using his likeness for a character in The Regular Show. The animated comedy series follows two animals, a blue jay and a raccoon.  In one episode, titled High Score, a character named...

Seventh Circuit Rejects Claims Against College Board by Private Individuals for Sale of Personal Information

On Wednesday, the Seventh Circuit held in Silha v. ACT, Inc. (7th Cir. 2015) that students who had taken the ACT and SAT did not have standing to sue for the alleged sale of their personal information. The Seventh Circuit pointed to the fact that even though the use of the test-takers' information had economically enriched...

Some Wyoming Legislators Want to Resurrect Privacy Bill and Send to Voters

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports today that the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivision Interim Committee voted to sponsor a bill that would allow voters to pass a privacy amendment to the state constitution.  Such an amendment was rejected by the state Senate in January of this year. The proposed amendment is very...

Article in Virginia Law Review Documents Expansive Reach of the Right of Publicity

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 is for profit). In terms of right...

More Musicians Object to Uses of their Music in Political Campaigns

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 the time.  Huckabee played the song at...