Tag: Right of Publicity

Another Right of Publicity Suit Against a Strip Club

Yet another right of publicity lawsuit against a strip club was filed yesterday for the alleged use of models' images to promote the club without their permission. This suit was filed in California state court against the Play Pen gentleman’s club in Los Angeles, a venue that unsuccessfully tried to stop the popular video game,...

Singer-Songwriter Sues for Unwitting Product Placement Arising out of Interview

Nafeesha Madyun, aka Esnavi has sued for right of publicity violations under New York Civil Rights Law Sections 50 & 51 for the allegedly unwitting product placement of a Hyundai in her consenusal interview when that interview was repurposed in an ad campaign by the automaker.  The case raises some interesting questions about the legitimacy...

Hasbro Contends that Same-Named Hamster Does Not Evoke Newscaster’s Identity

Hasbro filed a motion Monday to dismiss newscaster Harris Faulkner's right of publicity claim against the toy maker for giving a stuffed hamster toy the same name as her. The defendant contends that because the hamster toy looks nothing like the newscaster and the use of her name alone does not evoke Ms. Faulkner's identity,...

Bride and Groom Sue Wedding Photographer

A married couple sued their wedding photographer, not for bad photos, but for violating their rights of publicity by using their wedding photos in promotional brochures. The couple explicitly opted out of allowing the use of their photographs other than for their own personal use. The couple retained the copyright in their wedding photographs and...

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...

Playboy Playmates Sue Strip Club for Using Their Images

Successful Playboy models, Tiffany Selby, Irina Voronina, and Joanna Krupa, have sued a New York strip club, Café Royale, for using their images to promote the venue.  The models complaint includes claims for right of publicity violations (under New York Civil Rights Law §§ 50-51), false endorsement under the Lanham Act (§ 43), deceptive trade...

Beyonce, Pharrell, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Kanye West Sue Over Use of their Images and Names on Merchandise

These megastars sued Eleven LLC for using their names and images in a variety of merchandise, including t-shirts, hats, and cell phone covers. Some of the images evoked Hitler and some of the items used lyrics from the artists’ songs. The plaintiffs’ complaint includes claims for violations of New York’s Civil Rights Laws § 50...

Yale Brainstorming Workshop on How to Fix the Right of Publicity

This weekend I took part in an all-day workshop at Yale Law School, sponsored by the Information Society Project and the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression. Some of the leading right of publicity and First Amendment litigators and scholars in the country were present. The workshop operated under Chatham House rules which means I...

EA Files Cert. Petition in Davis v. Electronic Arts

On Monday, EA filed a Petition seeking Supreme Court review in Davis v. Electronic Arts, 775 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2015).  The video game maker asks the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit and hold that the use of realistic depictions of people in expressive works, including video games, is protected by the First...