Artwork sold by Target to celebrate the civil rights movement is itself a target – of a right of publicity claim by Rosa Parks’ estate.
A case filed in Alabama, but decided by the district court under Michigan law, where Ms. Parks died, claims that Target’s celebratory plaques that include Parks’ image, as well as that of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. may infringe Rosa Park’s right of publicity. The district court held that the use is protected by the First Amendment. An appeal is pending before the 11th circuit and a professors’ amicus brief that I signed on to was filed in the case contending that the use is protected by the First Amendment.
Amicus Brief in Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development v. Target Corp., No. 2:13–CV–817–WKW, 2015 WL 519057 (M.D. Ala. February 9, 2015).
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.