Tag: Transformativeness

The Third Circuit Upholds First Amendment Defense in Video Game Case

In a nonprecedential opinion the Third Circuit held that the First Amendment insulates the makers of the video game Gears of War from a right of publicity claim. The case, Hamilton v. Speight, involves a right of publicity claim brought by the plaintiff, Lenwood Hamilton, who alleged that his identity was used for one of...

First Amendment Protects Use of Olivia de Havilland in FEUD Docudrama

In a resounding victory for FX, the California Court of Appeal today reversed the trial court’s decision in de Havilland v. FX Networks on all counts.  The panel held that the anti-SLAPP motion to strike de Havilland's claims should have been granted both as to the right of publicity and false light claims. The three-judge...

“Simpsonized” Animated Character Held Transformative

Earlier this week, the California Court of Appeal gave a Valentine’s Day present to Twentieth Century Fox, by throwing out a right of publicity lawsuit brought by Frank Sivero. Sivero, a film actor, best known for his work playing mafiosos, objected to a recurring character in the animated television series, The Simpsons, that he claimed...

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...

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...