Tag: Right to Privacy

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...

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...

Celebrity Chef Sues to Cancel Contract Transferring His Right of Publicity

Celebrity chef Kent Rathbun has sued to invalidate an assignment of his rights to the use of his name and likeness. Rathbun, a former contestant on Iron Chef America and a four-time James Beard-Award nominated chef from Dallas, objects to an onerous contract he signed with H2R Restaurant Holdings and several other Texas businesses, including...

Arkansas Resurrects Right of Publicity Bill

The Arkansas legislature has reintroduced a right of publicity bill in the state after last year's bill was vetoed by its governor.  Governor Asa Hutchinson was concerned about the bill's limits on free speech.  Arkansas to date has only recognized a common law right of privacy and the tort of appropriation, tracking the Restatement (Second)...

Prince’s Death Sends Minnesota Legislature into Overdrive

Yesterday, the Minnesota legislature introduced a rushed bill to protect a right of publicity in that state and particularly to extend post-mortem rights in that state.  The bill came on the heels of the recent death on April 21st of the famous recording artist and composer Prince (aka Prince Rogers Nelson).  Prince apparently died without...

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...

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...