Yakub Hazzard: Your Right of Publicity

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Attorney Yakkub Hazzard (Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi) explains how publicity rights work and are enforced by law. This is one of the best overviews on how the system protects each and every individual's visual rights. This is information that every professional athlete should have been given by their League, their Union and/or their agent. NOT! Retired football players have had their rights consistently hijacked by the NFL and are now suing the League and NFL Films to recover their rights, royalties and damages. This presentation was given at the 2013 Independent Football Veterans Conference in Las Vegas May 3 - 5, 2013 and can be viewed at DavePear.com.

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Yakub Hazzard: Your Right of Publicity

  1. 1. Who Owns YouBy Yakub HazzardCo-ChairEntertainment & Media GroupRobins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.1Celebrating 75 Years of Providing National Legal Solutions
  2. 2. Right of Publicity2
  3. 3. WHO AM I• Co- Chair of Entertainment and Media Group• Practicing Law Since 1990, primarily inentertainment field• Representative clients include Estates ofRay Charles and Sammy Davis Jr., Snoop,Jamie Foxx, Weezer among others• Most Important I am the son of…..3
  4. 4. A Former Professional Athlete• Walt Hazzard4
  5. 5. Doctrines Protecting “Publicity” InterestsTrademarkCommon LawRight of “Identity”Publicity5StatutoryRight ofPublicity“name, voice, signatures,Photograph, or likeness• Living persons• Deceased persons
  6. 6. Right of Publicity6• Creature of State Law
  7. 7. List of States with Common Law(Judge-Made) Publicity Rights• Alabama• Arizona• California• Connecticut• Florida• Georgia• Hawaii• Illinois• Kentucky• Michigan• Minnesota• Missouri• New Hampshire• New Jersey• Ohio• Pennsylvania• South Carolina• Texas• Utah• West Virginia• Wisconsin7At least 21 States in total have expresslyrecognized the right of publicity:
  8. 8. COMMON LAW RIGHT OF PUBLICITY• Elements:1) Defendant’s use of plaintiff’s identity;2) The appropriation of plaintiff’s name orlikeness to defendant’s advantage orotherwise;3) Lack of consent: and4) Resulting injury.• See Eastwood v. Superior Court, 149 Cal.App.3d409 (1983); White v. Samsung ElectronicsAmerica, Inc., 971 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1992)8
  9. 9. States with Right of PublicityStatutes• California• Florida• Indiana• Kentucky• Massachusetts• Nebraska• Nevada• New York• Ohio• Pennsylvania• Rhode Island• Tennessee• Texas• Utah• Virginia• Washington• Wisconsin9
  10. 10. STATUTORY RIGHT OF PUBLICITY• Cal. Civil Code §3344– Any person who knowingly uses another’sname, voice, signature, photograph or likenesson or in products, merchandise, or goods, or forpurposes of advertising or selling, or solicitingpurchases of, products, goods or serviceswithout such person’s prior consent shall beliable for any damages sustained.10
  11. 11. States That Recognize Rights OfPublicity For Deceased Persons• California• Connecticut• Florida• Georgia• Illinois• Indiana• Kentucky• Michigan• Nebraska• Nevada• New Jersey• Ohio• Oklahoma• Pennsylvania• South Carolina• Tennessee• Texas• Utah• Virginia• Washington11
  12. 12. WHAT YOU CAN GET FOR A VIOLATION1) Actual Damages2) Profits or Unjust Enrichment3) Attorneys’ Fees and Costs (under statutesthat allow them)4) Punitive Damages12
  13. 13. DEFENSES1) News Accounts/Commentary2) Expressive Artistic Works3) Transformative Uses4) Life Stories13FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTIONS
  14. 14. EXAMPLES OF CASESINVOLVING ATHLETES14
  15. 15. 7171Winston15Motsenbacher v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.• Use of photo of car in TV commercial• Motsenbacher not recognizable• Claim allowed to go to jury
  16. 16. 16Montana v. San Jose Mercury News, Inc.• Paper included poster of newspaper accounts of 49erstwo SuperBowl wins• Newspaper wins – newsworthy just like original story
  17. 17. Abdul Jabbar v. General Motors Corp.17• GM ran ad including trivia question, the answer to which was LEW ALCINDER• Case allowed to go to jury
  18. 18. Gionfriddo v. Major League Baseball18• Defendants used retired baseball players’ publicity rights and careerstatistical information, including video clips of plaintiffs playing.• Court found that First Amendment noncommercial speech conveyinghistorical information about plaintiffs’ careers trumped plaintiffs’ publicityrights.
  19. 19. Image Size Issue Date Issue Size Issue Price Current Retail19 ½ x 25 ½ 4/98 250 700.00 $1,200.00Jireh PublishingOnline Store19• Court found that use was transformative and entitledto 1st Amendment Protection
  20. 20. 2 cases, 1 game, opposite results:• Keller v. EA Sports, Federal Court in Los Angeles• Court rejects transformative first amendment defense; rules infavor of athletes• Hart v. EA Sports, Federal Court in New Jersey• Court accepts transformative first amendment defense; rulesagainst athletes20
  21. 21. QUESTIONS• But not about Dryer v. NFL• That’s tomorrow21

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