News & Commentary

March 6, 2018 10:45 am PT
Olivia de Havilland FX Networks right of publicity lawsuit false light california rothman
Paul Brownfield's article on Olivia de Havilland's lawsuit against FX Network was published in Sunday's New York Times Style Section. It has a wonderful interview with Ms. de Havilland that explains more about her views on the lawsuit. It also has some commentary from me related to the case. ...
March 1, 2018 11:00 am PT
allison janney los angeles times opinion op-ed right of publicity lawsuit olivia de havilland feud jennifer rothman fx
My op-ed on the Olivia de Havilland v. FX Networks lawsuit, currently on appeal in California, has been published by the Los Angeles Times and will appear in Sunday's print edition just in time for this year's Oscar's ceremony.  If de Havilland succeeds, movies that tell unuathorized stories...
February 15, 2018 12:00 pm PT
simpsons fox sivero goodfellas right of publicity law suit california court of appeal
Earlier this week, the California Court of Appeal gave a Valentine’s Day present to Twentieth Century Fox, by throwing out a right of publicity lawsuit brought by Frank Sivero. Sivero, a film actor, best known for his work playing mafiosos, objected to a recurring character in the animated...
February 1, 2018 4:00 pm PT
thelonious monk right of publicity lawsuit north coast brewing co motion to dismiss
Yesterday, a federal district court in California rejected North Coast Brewing Co's motion to dismiss the right of publicity and false endorsement claims brought by the estate of Thelonious Monk. The estate objects to the company's use of jazz legend Monk's name and likeness on its Brother...
January 26, 2018 1:15 pm PT
MPAA SAG IDA and others amicus briefs de havilland right of publicity lawsuit
At least five separate amicus briefs have been filed in the expedited appeal in Olivia de Havilland v. FX Networks. I filed an amicus in this case with a number of other law professors in support of FX Networks. We argue that the First Amendment protects the use of real people,...
January 25, 2018 1:30 pm PT
feud de havilland olivia right of publicity FX murphy lawsuit
Yesterday, I filed a brief co-authored with Rebecca Tushnet and Eugene Volokh asking the California Court of Appeal to reverse the trial court’s decision in De Havilland v. FX Networks as to the right of publicity claim. The case, first filed at the end of June last year, involves a...
January 18, 2018 1:45 pm PT
Muhammad Ali Fox right of publicity lawsuit illinois california superbowl tribute
Earlier this week Fox filed motions for judgment on the pleadings and an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike in the case brought last fall against it for airing a tribute to the recently deceased boxing great Muhammad Ali before its broadcast of the 2017 Superbowl. I previously expressed the view that the...
January 5, 2018 2:00 pm PT
whitney houston right of publicity estate tax IRS
The Whitney Houston estate and the IRS have settled their dispute over the value of the Grammy award-winner’s estate. The more than $11 million dollar disagreement in the amount of taxes owed centered on the valuation of Houston’s intellectual property rights, and particularly the value of her...
November 29, 2017 11:15 am PT
gronking rob gronkowski nfl right of publicity lawsuit doe v. roe sixth circuit ohio
Last week the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Roe v. Amazon held that booksellers Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble (among others) could not be held liable for violating the privacy and publicity rights of a couple whose image was used without permission on the cover of an erotic novel...
October 10, 2017 3:15 pm PT
muhammad ali v fox right of publicity lawsuit illinois
The company that owns and manages former boxing great Muhammad Ali's right of publicity and trademarks has sued Fox Broadcasting in federal district court in Illinois. The complaint filed today claims that Fox's broadcast of a memorial to Muhammad Ali leading up to the broadcast of the 2017 Super...

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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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