Category: Publicity


I See It, I Like It, I Want It, I Got It: Ariana Grande’s Right of Publicity Lawsuit Against Forever 21

Alexandra Babkowski In 2019, Ariana Grande filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Forever 21 for violating her right of publicity, a legal construct designed to help celebrities control their identities for commercial use. This right is important to protect in light of the influence of celebrity endorsements and the risk that businesses will misappropriate celebrities’ images because they cannot afford the hefty price tags associated with celebrity endorsement. This Essay argues that under common law, Forever 21’s use of unauthorized photographs of Grande and the look-alike model violate Grande’s right...
2017PublicityTechnology Law

FTC Social Media Endorsement Guidelines: The Effects on Social Media Users and Business Owners

Jason Kim In the midst of heydays of social media, a social media user will inevitably face a product or service endorsement post in his/her social media feed or thread page. However, in the endorsement post, it is quite rare to see disclosure information as to whether the social media endorser has some kind of commercial relationship with the product manufacturer or service provider. On September 7, 2017 the FTC issued its first ever legal action against individual social media endorsers for posting endorsement posts without revealing their commercial relationship with the service providing company. This action by the FTC...

The Presidential Right of Publicity

Sean T. Masson Although the right of publicity has historically been a cause of action invoked by celebrities to protect themselves from an extensive range of conduct, the question remains whether non-traditional celebrities deserve the same rights. Can President Obama protect against the unauthorized use of his image since he has arguably attained celebrity-like status? I believe the answer is, to modify the President’s campaign mantra, “Yes [He] Can.” This Essay briefly discusses the application of the right of publicity to President Obama and concludes with suggestions on how he should protect that right. As evidenced by the multi-million dollar...