California Rights of Publicity San Diego
California Rights of Publicity San Diego Summary
The right of publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial exploitation of a person’s name, likeness, voice, signature, and other identifiable and distinctive aspects. Therefore, it is important to secure the permission of any person prior to utilizing any aspect of them in any commercial manner, such as:
• Advertisements and marketing materials;
• Endorsements or testimonials;
• Audience appearances at recorded seminars.
California Rights of Publicity San Diego Details
The right of publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial exploitation of a person’s name, likeness, voice, signature, and other identifiable and distinctive aspects. While there is no federal law specifically governing rights of publicity, the Lanham Act provides protection against falsely designating the origin of a product by using the persona of another. However, several states, including California, have statutes protecting personas from unauthorized commercial exploitation. According to California Civil Code § 3344:
“Any person who knowingly uses another’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any manner, on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of, products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent, or, in the case of a minor, the prior consent of his parent or legal guardian, shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof. In addition, in any action brought under this section, the person who violated the section shall be liable to the injured party or parties in an amount equal to the greater of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) or the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the unauthorized use, and any profits from the unauthorized use that are attributable to the use and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages. In establishing such profits, the injured party or parties are required to present proof only of the gross revenue attributable to such use, and the person who violated this section is required to prove his or her deductible expenses. Punitive damages may also be awarded to the injured party or parties. The prevailing party in any action under this section shall also be entitled to attorney’s fees and costs.”
The First Amendment to the Constitution gives a legal exception and allows for a persona to be used for a newsworthy purpose. For purposes of freedom of speech, a newsworthy purpose is one involving matters of legitimate public concern about an individual.