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 Davis, CMG 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
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
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.”