Indiana Right of Publicity Litigation Update – The Estate of Bette Davis v. Erickson Beamon

The Estate of Bette Davis et al v. Erickson Beamon, Ltd.

Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-01687-JMS-DKL
File Date: Friday, November 16, 2012
Plaintiff: The Estate of Betty DavisCMG Worldwide, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Theodore John Minch of Sovich Minch LLP
Defendant: Erickson Beamon, Ltd.
Cause: Indiana State Statutory Right of Publicity, California State Statutory Right of Publicity, Other Statutory and Common Law Rights of Publicity, Unfair Competition, Common Law Unfair Competition, Unjust Enrichment, Conversion, Deception, Indiana Crime Victims’ Act
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Lioness Vizions v. Rhasha Hoosier

Lioness Vizions, LLC et al v. Rhasha Hoosier et al

Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-00109-TWP-TAB
File Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Plaintiff: Lioness Vizions, LLC, Angenita Childs, Delina Hill-Brooker
Plaintiff Counsel: Trezanay Michelle Atkins of The Brand Infringement Firm
Defendant: Rhasha Hoosier, Mikel Hoosier, Reign Media Group, Romantic Reign Group
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Wrongful Dissolution, Right of Publicity Infringement, Breach of Operating Agreement, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Civil Theft, Tortious Interference, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker

The Rise Of Publicity Rights Litigation

There’s a nice summary of publicity rights lawsuits over at TechDirt and I also highly recommend the underlying article which discusses the history of publicity rights from assorted viewpoints (including an appearance by Indianapolis attorney Jonathan Faber).

Indiana has some of the most expansive publicity rights laws in the nation.  Indiana grants rights to an individual and his agent for 100 years after death, and the protections cover use of a person’s name, voice, signature, photograph, image, likeness, distinctive appearance, gesture and mannerisms.

“There are a lot of reasons publicity rights battles seem to be growing: more laws, plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions, no consistent bright-line rules about what plaintiffs have to show, and a newfound sensitivity prompted by the digital age.”