Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Personality Rights in the Hong Kong (China) Legal Regime

Peter K. Yu, Drake University Law School, has published No Personality Rights for Pop Stars in Hong Kong? in The New Law of Brands and Reputation in the Asia Pacific Rim (Andrew Kenyon, Ng-Loy Wee Loon & Megan Richardson, eds. 2011). Here is the abstract.
Referred to as ‘the Pearl of the Orient’ for generations, Hong Kong is a glamorous city known for its lavish lifestyle and the rich and famous. Its entertainment products, in particular movies, television programs, and music, are highly popular in not only Asia, but also different parts of the world. Yet, the region does not offer strong protection of personality rights to celebrities. This development provides an interesting contrast to developments in the United States, where Hollywood actors receive very strong protection of their name, likeness, image, voice, or other personal attributes. The lack of protection also contrasts strongly with that of China, which offers in its civil code a right of portrait.

This book chapter begins by tracing the American origin of the right of publicity as an independent cause of action. It underscores the difference between this discreet right and the type of protection available in Commonwealth jurisdictions. The chapter then discusses the leading case in Hong Kong, Lau Tak Wah Andy v. Hang Seng Bank Ltd. The chapter explores why Hong Kong has yet to offer strong protection of personality rights despite having fertile conditions for such development. The chapter concludes by focusing on three areas of influence that may impact the future development of personality rights in Hong Kong.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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