Tag Archives: right of publicity

Classmates.com, the right of publicity, and copyright preemption

Callahan v. PeopleConnect, Inc., 2021 WL 5050079, No. 20-cv-09203-EMC (N.D. Cal. Nov. 1, 2021) Plaintiffs in this putative class action alleged that PeopleConnect misappropriated their names, photographs, and likenesses and used the same in advertising its products and services, “including … Continue reading

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False endorsement remains broader than many state ROP laws

Walkowicz v. American Girl Brands, LLC, 2021 WL 510729, No. 20-cv-374-jdp (W.D. Wis. Feb. 11, 2021) Lucianne Walkowicz “has achieved a measure of celebrity as an astronomer,” and contended that  defendants misappropriated distinctive aspects of their personal identity into a … Continue reading

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USC IP year in review, TM/ROP

 My presentation, galloping across a bunch of developments. Slides here. Begin with legislative action: Trademark Modernization Act, Which introduces three of the big themes of the year: (1) trademark use, (2) the harm of infringement, and (3) the role of … Continue reading

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Robinhood’s newsletter isn’t commercial advertising

Jackson v. Robinhood Markets, Inc., 2021 WL 2435307, No. 21-cv-02304-LB (N.D. Cal. Jun. 15, 2021) Jackson, known professionally as Ice Cube, sued after Robinhood used his image and a paraphrase of a line from his song “Check Yo Self” to … Continue reading

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Models’ false endorsement claims fail for want of recognition, bad survey

Souza v. Exotic Island Enterprises, Inc., No. 18-CV-9448 (KMK), 2021 WL 3501162 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 9, 2021) Another in the burgeoning genre of models suing “adult” clubs for using unauthorized images in online ads for the clubs. As this case shows, … Continue reading

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IPSC Panel 12 – Identity, Data, and Privacy

Dustin Marlan, The Dystopian Right of Publicity Privacy problems (surveillance) are often analogized to the dystopia of 1984; ROP problems stemming from infinite transferablility can be analogized to Brave New World (1932). A state of unfreedom that is apparently chosen … Continue reading

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social media posts using models’ images could be false advertising etc.

Two cases in this burgeoning genre, with different results on conversion claims but otherwise similarly highly favorable for the plaintiffs, including on statute of limitations/single publication rulings. Moreland v. Beso Lounge & Restaurant LLC, 2020 WL 5302312, No. 19-cv-00958 (VLB) … Continue reading

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T-shirts as noncommercial speech (and an issue-spotter fact pattern)

Cornette v. Graver, 2020 WL 4059589, No. 19-cv-219 (W.D. Pa. Jul. 20, 2020) Cornette is a professional wrestling commentator and “personality” who sued defendants for infringing his trademark rights and right of publicity by selling disparaging t-shirts bearing his name … Continue reading

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Second Circuit finds conflict preemption of publicity rts for unauthorized music sample

Jackson v. Roberts, No. 19-480 (2d Cir. Aug. 19, 2020) Judge Leval, kindly citing my work as well as that of other scholars, finds a right of publicity claim against a remix album preempted by the Copyright Act/Supremacy Clause through … Continue reading

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“all IP” puts C&D recipient on notice of TM (R), and a bit on the meaning of blue check marks

Commodores Entertainment Corp. v. McClary, Nos. 19-10791, 19-12819, — Fed.Appx. —-, 2020 WL 4218236 (11th Cir. Jul. 23, 2020) As quickly summarized by the court: The prolonged dispute concerns the ownership of the mark “The Commodores,” the name of a … Continue reading

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