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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Right of Publicity

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Hallmark Greeting Cards Fights For Our Free Speech Rights

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a most unfortunate ruling that trademark law and California's 'right of publicity' law "allows a celebrity to sue a greeting card company for using her image and catchphrase in a birthday card without her permission."

Read the original travesty here.

Fortunately, Hallmark greeting cards is not taking it lying down.

They have asked the entire 9th Circuit to re-hear the case en banc.

Read their compelling petition for rehearing here.

Sample quote:

The Opinion holds that a right of publicity claim asserted by an iconic celebrity, stemming from an expressive work that "spoofs" that celebrity and her oft-repeated catchphrase, is not transformative or otherwise protected by the First Amendment. In his well-known dissent from denial of en banc review in White v. Samsung, the Chief Judge of this Court expressed grave concern about courts giving celebrities a "right to keep people from mocking them or their work." White, 975 F.2d at 1516. The Opinion does exactly that, in direct conflict with numerous decisions by this Court and others, and to the detriment of the fundamental right of free speech.

[Hat-tip: CourthouseNews.com]

Right of Publicity Monopoly Loses Again In Court

First it was the deceased Marilyn Monroe, now it is the alive and kicking Andy Griffith.

The so-called 'right of publicity' has the potential to mutate into another form of speech-stifling monopoly. Glad to see that the courts are getting it right in these instances.

Andy Griffith's trademark claims were also appropriately shot down. If reasonable people were actually confused that the television star was running for office, then I'd reconsider.


   

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