Continuing our discussion on Intellectual Property and your business, today's blog is about the Right to Publicity. If you've not read our introductory blog on Intellectual Property, CLICK HERE to review it to get a general lay of the land.
Intellectual Property deals with creations of the mind. Intellectual property can be divided into a few distinct subcategories, Right to Publicity being just one.
What is the Right to Publicity?
Definition: This right prevents the unauthorized commercial use of an individual's name, image, likeness, or other recognizable aspects of one's persona. It gives an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial promotion.
Put more simply, it prevents companies and other individuals from exploiting your name, likeness, or other recognizable elements of your persona for commercial gain if you haven't given them permission.
How long does this right last?
The Right to Publicity varies from state to state. In Florida, Statute 504.08 is the genesis for protection of one's image, likeness, etc. The right is extended to deceased individual as well for a period of 40 years after death.
This really only applies to Celebrities right?
WRONG. While the Right to Publicity is heavily associated with celebrities, in large part because a celebrity's name or likeness can greatly enhance the marketability of a product or service, it can apply to you as well!
ANYONE whose name, image, likeness, etc. has been used commercially without their permission is protected.
Do I register somewhere?
No. The Right to Publicity is statutorily granted, and thus automatically applies. There is no formal application process like some other types of intellectual property (Copyright, Trademark, Patent, Etc.). If you discover someone has used your name and/or likeness without your consent