Right of Publicity

Definition & Meaning:

The Right of Publicity is a legal concept that grants individuals control over the commercial use of their name, image, likeness, or other identifiable aspects of their identity.

It protects individuals from unauthorized exploitation of their persona for commercial purposes without their consent.

You have the Right of Publicity to prevent others from using your identity for advertising, merchandising, or other commercial activities without your permission.

For example, if a company uses a celebrity’s image in an advertisement without obtaining permission or compensating the celebrity, it could violate the celebrity’s Right of Publicity.

Similarly, if a photographer sells photographs of individuals for commercial purposes without their consent, it may infringe upon their Right of Publicity.

This right allows individuals to control how their identity is used for commercial gain and protects their reputation and economic interests.

The Right of Publicity is often intertwined with other legal principles, such as privacy rights and intellectual property laws.

While privacy laws protect individuals’ rights to privacy and confidentiality, the Right of Publicity focuses specifically on the commercial exploitation of one’s identity.

Intellectual property laws, such as trademark and copyright, may also intersect with the Right of Publicity when individuals seek to protect their personal brand or creative works from unauthorized use.

The scope of the Right of Publicity varies by jurisdiction, with some regions providing extensive statutory protection while others rely on common law principles or have limited recognition of the right.

In the United States, for example, the Right of Publicity is recognized as a distinct legal right in many states, with statutes and case law governing its application.

Some states have enacted specific laws outlining the scope of protection and remedies available for violations of the Right of Publicity.

To protect your Right of Publicity, you may need to take proactive measures such as registering your name, image, or likeness as a trademark or seeking contractual agreements for the authorized use of your identity.

Additionally, monitoring and enforcing your rights against unauthorized use or infringement may require legal action, including cease-and-desist letters, negotiation, or litigation.