Connecticut

Connecticut recognizes the invasion of privacy, and the tort of appropriation of name or likeness.  It is an open question whether the state also recognizes a distinct right of publicity and whether such a right would be descendible. 

Statute 

NO

Common Law - Right of Publicity 

Unclear

One federal court has held that the state would recognize an independent right of publicity.

Jim Henson Productions, Inc. v. John T. Brady & Assocs., 867 F. Supp. 175 (S.D.N.Y. 1994)

Common Law - Right of Privacy-Appropriation Tort 

YES

The state recognizes both a right to privacy and the appropriation branch of that tort as articulated by the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652.

Goodrich v. Waterbury Republican-American, Inc., 488 A.2d 1317 (Conn. 1982)

Venturi v. Savitt, Inc., 468 A.2d 993 (Conn. 1983)

Post-Mortem Right 

UNCLEAR

A federal district court held that Connecticut law would recognize an independent property-based right of publicity and that such a right would survive death.

Jim Henson Productions, Inc. v. John T. Brady & Assocs., 867 F. Supp. 175 (S.D.N.Y. 1994)

Limits on Right 
Does the law require the plaintiff or identity-holder to be a celebrity or have a commercially valuable identity?

NO 

Goodrich v. Waterbury Republican-American, Inc., 448 A.2d. 1317(Conn. 1983) 

Herring v. Radding Signs, No. CV99-0427523 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2000) 

Amie Morse v. Conn. Cmty. for Addiction Recovery, 2010 WL 4074949  (Conn. Sup. Ct. 2010)

Does the law protect persona?

No case has considered the issue. 

Is Liability Limited to Uses on Commercial Advertising or Commercial Speech?

NO

Although no case has specifically addressed the question, the state’s reliance on the Restatement (Second) of Torts indicates that the right would not be so limited.

First Amendment Analysis 

To date no Connecticut court has considered a unique test for balancing First Amendment and right of publicity interests. However, Connecticut sits in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which considered a First Amendment defense to a right of publicity claim under Oregon law and concluded that, at least in the context of expressive works, uses of others’ names are protected by the First Amendment unless the use is “wholly unrelated” or “simply a disguised commercial advertisement for the sale of goods or services.”

Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994, 1004 (2d Cir. 1989).

Page last updated on: September 01, 2015

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