Harris Faulkner Says It Doesn’t Matter that Hamster Toy Doesn’t Look Like Her
Fox News reporter Harris Faulkner filed her Opposition to Hasbro’s Motion to Dismiss her right of publicity claim earlier this week. Faulkner’s attorneys emphasize that Hasbro can’t use her name for its toy hamster even if the hamster looks nothing like her. Hasbro’s main argument in its motion to dismiss was that because the hamster looks nothing like Faulkner it did not evoke her identity. Faulkner correctly responds by noting that evoking her identity via only her name would be sufficient to state a claim. The uniqueness of her name helps her case, though less convincing is her continued argument that the hamster resembles her. The opposition claims that the doll resembles her because “they share a similar tone of complexion (which, for the doll, is more tan in color in person than it appears in photographs). The shapes of their faces are also similar, especially when viewed in profile. The doll appears feminine, accompanied with a pink bow, a butterfly, long hair, and traditionally female eye makeup. The shape of their eyes and the design of their eye makeup is also very similar.” Nice try, but I’m still not convinced by the likeness claim. The name-based claim may have legs though, especially if Hasbro evoked the news reporting context in related videos as Faulkner claims.
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.