Minnesota recognizes the common law tort of invasion of privacy for the misappropriation of name or likeness. Federal courts have decided that Minnesota also would recognize a distinct right of publicity at common law.
Federal courts have held that Minnesota would recognize a right of publicity.
Ventura v. Titan Sports, Inc., 65 F.3d 725 (8th Cir. 1995)
Minnesota recognizes a right to privacy, including the tort of appropriation for the unauthorized use of another’s name or likeness for the defendant’s own benefit.
Lake v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 582 N.W.2d 231 (Minn. 1998)
A district court in Minnesota has held that the right of publicity is descendible in a case that is still pending. Paisley Park Enters. v. Boxill, 299 F. Supp.3d 1074 (D. Minn. 2017)
Federal courts in Minnesota have allowed First Amendment defenses to limit the scope of Minnesota’s rights of publicity and privacy. Minnesota sits in the Eighth Circuit which has adopted a balancing test to weigh free speech concerns against the interests of publicity holders. In C.B.C. Distribution & Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., 503 F.3d 818 (8th Cir. 2007), the circuit held that fantasy sports leagues’ use of baseball players’ names and statistics is protected by the First Amendment.
C.B.C. Distrib. & Mktg v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P., 505 F.3d 818 (8th Cir. 2007)
The Eighth Circuit has held that right of publicity claims are preempted by copyright law, at least in the context of the use of copyrighted football game footage when the plaintiffs had agreed to appear in the original televised games and the defendant owned the rights to the footage and the use was in noncommercial speech.
Dryer v. National Football League, 814 F.3d 938 (8th Cir. 2016)
Federal Courts have held that misappropriation claims under Minnesota law are preempted by the Communications Decency Act § 230.
Faegre & Benson, LLP v. Purdy, 367 F.Supp.2d 1238 (D. Minn. 2005)