News & Commentary

October 2, 2020 9:30 am PT
hamilton speight right of publicity first amendment gears of war third circuit
In a nonprecedential opinion the Third Circuit held that the First Amendment insulates the makers of the video game Gears of War from a right of publicity claim. The case, Hamilton v. Speight, involves a right of publicity claim brought by the plaintiff, Lenwood Hamilton, who...
August 21, 2020 1:45 pm PT
50 cent right of publicity rick ross renzel remix copyright preemption
Earlier this week, the Second Circuit, in an opinion penned by Judge Pierre Leval, held that a right of publicity claim by rap artist Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent, was preempted by federal copyright law. The claim was brought under Connecticut law and arose out of Jackson’s...
July 14, 2020 1:15 pm PT
new york legislature right of publicity bill
During its usual off-season, the New York legislature is revisiting its multi-year efforts to add new sections to its civil rights law and in particular to add a postmortem provision to state law. This latest version would add two sections to NY's Civil Rights Law,  what it dubs a new “right...
June 16, 2020 9:45 am PT
Karen Hepp right of publicity pennsylvania privacy cda 230 communications decency act facebook
A federal district court in Pennsylvania granted Facebook, Imgur, and Reddit’s respective motions to dismiss claims that they had violated Karen Hepp’s common law and statutory rights of publicity under Pennsylvania law. The Court held her claims barred by the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”)'s...
June 4, 2020 10:45 am PT
Porco v. Lifetime, new york, right of publicity, summary judgment order, privacy
Once again a New York court has allowed Christopher Porco (hereinafter “Chris”) and his mother, Joan Porco, to proceed with their right of publicity claims brought under New York Civil Rights Law § 51 arising out of a Lifetime docudrama. Chris and Joan object to the use of their names and...
October 7, 2019 10:00 am PT
right of publicity student athletes lebron james california endorsement ncaa
Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB206 which requires NCAA member universities to allow student athletes to sign endorsement deals and with agents and attorneys without losing their amateur status. Other states are following California's lead and introducing similar bills, and Congress has...
September 10, 2019 12:30 pm PT
forever 21 ariana grande right of publicity false endorsement lanham act california lawsuit instagram
Last week pop sensation Ariana Grande filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for violation of both her statutory and common law right of publicity under California law, as well as for trademark infringement and false endorsement under the Lanham Act, and a copyright infringement claim. The claims arise...
June 21, 2019 1:45 pm PT
new york right of publicity right of privacy
The New York legislature closed its session without taking up the proposed right of publicity and privacy bill.
June 18, 2019 10:30 am PT
Apparently dropping around midnight Sunday, the New York legislature made a set of last-minute  changes to the proposed right of publicity bill. The amendments focused solely on addressing broadcasters' concerns that remasters of existing works would violate the newly proposed "digital replica...
June 13, 2019 10:15 am PT
right of publicity right of privacy new york legislation new york seal
I sent a letter to members of the New York legislature and their staff today opposing the proposed right of publicity bills that have been introduced in the Senate and Assembly. I focus on four major concerns with the legislation: 1) the proposed redefinitions of the right of privacy and right...

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The Book

Privacy Reimagined For A Public World

THE RIGHT OF PUBLICITY: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World

This book from Harvard University Press by Professor Jennifer Rothman traces the history and development of the right of publicity and its current collision course with individual liberty, free speech and copyright law.

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