Alabama's New Right of Publicity Statute Goes Into Effect and Threatens Free Speech
Alabama's Right of Publicity Act went into effect on August 1, 2015. It is not yet clear what effect the law will have on the common law rights in the state. Of most concern is the expansive language of the statute which includes both for-profit and non-profit uses of any indicia of identity. Although the statute does provide exceptions for artistic works, the exception is highly limited and vague. The exception does not apply when a "replica" that constitutes a "copy of the person's indicia of identity" is used in the artistic work. It is not yet clear how broadly or narrowly this caveat will be interpreted. It also seems that advertising and promotion for such artistic works may be limited if the use of a person's identity in that advertising actually promotes the aristic work. We need to keep a close eye on how this potentially troubling and vague statute is interpreted by the courts.