Doyle’s Dilemma

By Dr Angela Adrian

What does it mean to be a Celebrity? Or a Personality? There was a time when the answer to that question was fairly clear to most people. However, the technology boom that began during the second half of the 20th century changed all of that, and the laws regarding the protection of a person’s name, portrait, picture, likeness, or voice have struggled to keep up with the evolving media in which these types of intellectual property can be exploited. In the United States, the term “right of publicity” was coined in the decision Haelan Laboratories, Inc. v. Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., 202 F.2d 866 (2d Cir. 1953). However, the first state to pass a law prohibiting the use of a living person’s “name, portrait or picture” was New York in 1903.1

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