Tag: Right of Publicity

New York Legislature Feels the Heat and Pulls Right of Publicity Bill

Feeling the heat from many different sides, the New York legislature today smartly pulled the seriously flawed right of publicity bill (with the SAG-AFTRA provision that undermined the statutory speech protections).  As Professors Christopher Sprigman, Christopher Buccafusco, and I wrote in an editorial in the Albany Times-Union, the proposed bills posed a serious threat to...

New York Legislature Amends Right of Publicity Bill for the Worse

Today the New York Legislature amended its proposed right of publicity bill, A08155, and not for the better.  Instead, it added language that undermines statutory protections for expressive works. The bill is deeply flawed to begin with and this only makes matters worse--far worse. The amendment would deny a defense to the use of a...

Letters Submitted in Opposition to Proposed New York Right of Publicity Bill

Today, I submitted a letter opposing the current draft of a "right of publicity" bill being rushed through the New York legislature before it closes up shop for the summer. Since my earlier post about the bill SAG-AFTRA has proposed adding language that would eviscerate the exemptions in the bill making it even more urgent...

New York Once Again Floats Right of Publicity Law

The New York Assembly introduced yet another right of publicity bill last week, Assembly Bill A08155. Such legislation is introduced almost every year in New York―focused on trying to add a post-mortem right which currently does not exist under New York law. Thus far, these bills have all failed to proceed. This time may be...

Louisiana Right of Publicity Moves Forward

The proposed “Allen Toussaint Legacy Act” has passed another hurdle in the Louisiana legislature. The bill passed the House last week and was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. The Act is named after the famed New Orleans musician, songwriter and producer, who died in 2015. The proposed law provides individuals with a “property...

Warhol Foundation Claims Fair Use of Photographs of Dead Pop Star Prince

Oh, how the chickens come home to roost. In Comedy III v. Saderup, Inc., the California Supreme Court distinguished Andy Warhol’s celebrity portraits from those of Gary Saderup’s realistic portraits of The Three Stooges. Now this unconvincing and unpredictable distinction between Warhol’s celebrity portraits and those by other less famous, and more “realistic” artists is...

Copyright Law Blocks Student-Athlete Suit over Sale of Game Photos

Today, the Ninth Circuit held in Maloney v. T3 Media that former collegiate athletes’ right of publicity claims arising out of the licensing of their photos by T3 Media were barred by copyright law. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court opinion in the case. Unfortunately, rather than clarifying the district court’s muddled analysis, it...

Usher Sues Sony for Right of Publicity Violation for Use of Voice

No, not that Usher. Jasmine Usher, a Georgia-based singer, is suing Sony Music and the band Travis Porter for the use of her voice on the hit song “Ayye Ladies”. The song reached number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200. Usher claims that her voice was recorded and used on the song without her signing...

Harris Faulkner Hamster Case Settles

No surprise here. As I predicted, Hasbro and Harris Faulkner have reached a settlement only a few months after a district court in New Jersey denied Habsro's motion to dismiss.  The claim that the toy hamster looked anything like the Fox news reporter was always a stretch, but because the name-based right of publicity claim...

Supreme Court Punts on O’Bannon v. NCAA

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari in O'Bannon v. NCAA, a Ninth Circuit decision from September 2015. The decision upheld the application of antitrust laws to the NCAA. The decision in O'Bannon rested in part on the conclusion that the use of the players' names and likenesses in videogames required licensing....