Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Judge: Fifty Year Term For NJ Post-Mortem Right Of Publicity, So Hebrew University Of Jerusalem Claim Over Einstein image Is Barred

A U. S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California has ruled that New Jersey's post mortem rights of publicity extend for 50 years after the death of the celebrity. Thus, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which claims to control the late Albert Einstein's rights of publicity, cannot prevail in a dispute over an ad that General Motors ran in a 2010 issue of People Magazine which feature the late scientist, accompanied by the caption "Ideas are sexy, too." In his determination, Judge A. Howard Matz examined the laws of other states which have extend such rights to heirs, noting that public policy requires the balancing of property and First Amendment rights. The latest year the University could have filed its suit would have been 2005 (Dr. Einstein died in 1955). 

Check out the disputed image here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2012/12/judge-fifty-year-term-for-nj-post-mortem-right-of-publicity-so-hebrew-university-of-jerusalem-claim-.html

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