News & Commentary

July 05, 2017 3:15 pm
Feud Olivia de Havilland right of publicity right of privacy lawsuit
One of Hollywood’s most successful plaintiffs and actresses is at it again. Olivia de Havilland, the two-time Oscar winner, who appeared in such Hollywood classics as Gone with the Wind and The Heiress, has sued FX Networks and Ryan Murphy in California Superior Court over her...
June 21, 2017 9:15 pm
Advertisement Opposed New York 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...
June 14, 2017 5:00 pm
right of publicity SAG logo ny bill
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...
June 09, 2017 12:00 pm
letter to new york legislature on right of publicity bill 08155
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...
June 07, 2017 12:45 pm
new york right of publicity bill proposed right of privacy repealed
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...
May 16, 2017 10:15 pm
Allen Toussaint Legacy Act right of publicity louisiana
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...
April 21, 2017 4:45 pm
right of publicity prince warhol copyright fair use goldsmith lawsuit new york
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...
April 05, 2017 8:00 pm
right of publicity ncaa maloney t3 media paya ninth circuit copyright preemption
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...
October 12, 2016 9:15 pm
right of publicity usher lawsuit georgia
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...
October 07, 2016 3:15 pm
right of publicity harris faulkner
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...

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