Tag: Right of Publicity

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...

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...

Constitutional Law and Intellectual Property Law Professors Call on Supreme Court to Review Davis

Professor Eugene Volokh (UCLA) and I filed a brief today in support of granting certiorari in Davis v. Electronic Arts. The brief was signed on to by many leading constitutional law and IP law scholars. We call on the Supreme Court to address the disarray among lower courts about how to analyze the First Amendment...

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...

NFL Players Sue FanDuel for its Fantasy Football Game

Pierre Garcon and other NFL Players filed suit today in federal district court in Maryland claiming that their names and likenesses were misapproriated in FanDuel's fantasy football game.  The complaint includes both right of publicity and false endorsement claims.  No question that here is another looming First Amendment collision with the right of publicity.  The...

And the Suits Against Strip Clubs Keep Coming

Another group of models has sued for the unauthorized use of their images by a strip club -- this time in Florida for the use of their images to promote The Playhouse strip club.  The Complaint includes right of publicity claims under Florida Stat. §540.08 and the common law, among other claims.  The complaint includes...