Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

New York Considering Right of Publicity Bill for Dead Celebrities

Al Pacino and Yoko Ono are among the rich and famous in support of a bill being considered by the New York legislature that would protect the rights of publicity of dead celebs, and those to whom they bequeath those rights. Two recent federal court rulings, both involving the late Marilyn Monroe, have pushed the Legislature to consider an enactment. The texts in question are Assembly Bill 8836 and Senate Bill 6005.

Assembly Bill 8836 reads as follows:

Section 50. Right of privacy [A> AND PUBLICITY. <A] A person, firm or corporation that uses for advertising purposes, or for the purposes of trade, the name, portrait, [A> VOICE, SIGNATURE <A] or picture of any living person without having first obtained the written consent of such person, or if a minor of his or her parent or guardian, is guilty of a misdemeanor. [A> A PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION THAT USES FOR ADVERTISING PURPOSES, OR FOR THE PURPOSES OF TRADE, THE NAME, PORTRAIT, VOICE, SIGNATURE OR PICTURE OF ANY DECEASED NATURAL PERSON WHO DIED WITHIN SEVENTY YEARS PRIOR TO JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND EIGHT (REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH PERSON DIED BEFORE OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND SEVEN WHICH AMENDED THIS SECTION), WITHOUT HAVING FIRST OBTAINED THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF SUCH PERSON'S RESIDUARY OR OTHER LEGATEES, DEVISEES, DISTRIBUTEES OR THE SUCCESSORS IN INTEREST THEREOF, IS GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR. THE RIGHTS ESTABLISHED UNDER THIS ARTICLE ARE DEEMED TO VEST RETROACTIVELY TO THE DECEASED PERSON BEFORE SUCH PERSON'S DEATH, SO THAT THE TRANSFER BY THE DECEASED PERSON OR HIS OR HER TRANSFEREES CAN OCCUR BEFORE OR AT THE TIME OF DEATH OF THE DECEASED PERSON, INCLUDING BY MEANS OF THE DECEASED PERSON'S WILL. <A]

The Senate Bill reads similarly.

Read more here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2007/06/new_york_consid.html

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