Tag: Right of Publicity

Ninth Circuit Tosses Hurt Locker Case

Today the Ninth Circuit finally decided Sarver v. Chartier. The court affirmed the district court’s holding that the alleged use of Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver’s identity in the Academy-Award winning film The Hurt Locker is protected by the First Amendment. The ultimate holding that the use of a real person’s identity in an expressive work, like...

PGA Can Use Caddies as “Human Billboards”

Earlier this week, a federal district court dismissed a right of publicity claim by golf caddies against the PGA. The caddies objected to being forced to wear bibs that advertise various tournaments, golfers, and third-party corporations. The complaint was filed in September 2015 as part of a move to obtain better treatment of caddies on...

Actors Sues for Use of Performance in DVD

Brian McCabe, an actor, has sued Entertainment One and Swirl Films for selling DVDs of Community Service, a television show, that he had agreed to appear in and that he knew would be televised.  McCabe claims that although he agreed to the airing of his performance on television, he did not give permission for it...

Darlene Love Sues Google for Using Her Voice

Darlene Love, an “icon of pop music’s golden age,” sued Google today for using her voice in advertising for mobile phones. Love is ranked 84 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of all-time list, and is best known for He’s A Rebel, Alone on Christmas, and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). She is also known...

NFL Player Pierre Garcon Drops Right of Publicity Suit Against FanDuel

Yesterday, Pierre Garcon dropped his class action against FanDuel for using his and other NFL players' names and likenesses in fantasy football games. It is not clear yet whether some sort of settlement was reached or if so, what monetary payout might have been made. Garcon may also have decided that the case would be...

Child Star Chachi’s Lawsuit Against her Mother is Dismissed

Olivia “Chachi” Gonzales, 19, is best known for her appearance and victory on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” in 2011. Chachi designed her own dance apparel and started selling “Chachimomma” pants similar to ones that she made popular by wearing them on the TV show.  While Chachi was a minor, Chachi’s mother, Guadalope Gonzales, allegedly...

The Ninth Circuit Resurrects Sarver

On Christmas Eve, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals resubmitted Sarver v. Chartier for consideration.  I posted earlier about this long-lingering right of publicity lawsuit arising out of the Academy-Award winning film The Hurt Locker.  If the Supreme Court grants certiorari in Davis v. Electronic Arts—a case being discussed in conference later this week—look for...

The Eleventh Circuit Allows Use of Rosa Parks’ Name and Image on Merchandise

Today, the Eleventh Circuit rejected a lawsuit by the Rosa Parks Institute—which owns the rights to the deceased Park’s name and likeness. The case involved the Target retail chain’s selling of books, and a movie about Rosa Parks, as well as a commemorative plaque that contained her and Martin Luther King’s images, an inspirational quote...

Players Associations File Brief Supporting Reversal in Maloney

Earlier this week the NFL, MLB, NHL and MLS players associations filed an amicus brief supporting the NCAA student-athletes' appeal from a decision that held that their right of publicity claims were preempted by copyright law. The student-athletes objected to the sale of photographs that were licensed by the NCAA and that included images of...

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....