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Kansas has not recognized a right of publicity either by statute or at common law.  The state does, however, recognize a privacy-based tort of misappropriation. 



Common Law - Right of Publicity 


Common Law - Right of Privacy-Appropriation Tort 


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

Kunz v. Allen, 102 Kan. 883 (1918) 

Post-Mortem Right 


The Supreme Court of Kansas in dicta has suggested that the privacy-based appropriation tort can survive death, even though other privacy-based torts do not, but it has not held that such claims do in fact survive death. See Nicholas v. Nicholas, 83 P.3d 214 (Kan. 2004).

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


One court, however, has held that the privacy-based appropriation tort is limited to commercial uses of a plaintiff’s identity.

Haskell v. Stauffer Commc’ns, Inc., 26 Kan. App. 2d 541 (1999)

First Amendment Analysis 

Kansas sits in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and in Cardtoons, L.C. v. Major League Baseball Players Ass’n, the Tenth Circuit applied a balancing test and held that the First Amendment  protected the use of player’s names and likenesses on parody trading cards against a right of publicity claim under Oklahoma law.

Cardtoons, L.C. v. Major League Baseball Players Ass’n, 95 F.3d 959 (10th Cir. 1996).


Page last updated on: July 19, 2019

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