[Foundation-l] Celebrity pictures

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Aug 29 00:10:48 UTC 2006

Anthony wrote:

>On 8/28/06, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
>>Has anybody so much as investigated industry standards about the use of
>>album covers or the publicity shots of celebrities?  The entertainment
>>industry if infamous for protecting what it believes to be its
>>copyrights.  Have there been any cases regarding this kind of material?
>>What can we do to free this borderline material?
>I don't know of any such study.  But if one is done it should look at
>both sides.  Has anyone lost a case over it is one question.  But
>another is whether there are companies in jurisdictions which don't
>have fair use that are using publicity shots without permission in the
>first place.
I was afraid you would come back with something like that. :-)    
Perhaps more significant than whether anyone has lost is whether any 
such case has ever been filed.  Given that they are distributed for the 
specific purpose of publicity there could be an implicit permission.

>As a tangentially related case, the John Dillinger Museum in Hammond,
>Indiana lost a lawsuit over the "right of publicity", "which restrict
>the use of someone's image or name for commercial purposes".  It seems
>John Dillinger's family doesn't want the museum portraying him as a
>murderer.  http://www.artsjournal.com/artfulmanager/main/008254.php
The article that you mention also suggested that this museum is somewhat 
trashy.  People who might find such a museum acceptable often don't act 
unless things get trashy.  Similarly, people who never saw their writing 
as money-making might be okay with a tasteful infringement of copyright 
may change their tune if they find the usage disrepectful.

The right of publicity may be a dubious theory.  Wasn't this the issue 
in the case that WMF-de won in Germany?  Major League Baseball has not 
been doing very well with this argument in its attempt at preventing the 
use of its statistics by fantasy leagues.  They had already given up on 
the argument over copyright infringement because it's expression and not 
information that is copyright.


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