Circuit Skeptical Anchor Can Sue Platforms Over Publicity Rights

June 2, 2021, 8:54 PM

A panel of Third Circuit Judges scrutinized a Philadelphia news anchor’s claim that social media platforms including Facebook can be liable for use of her image because publicity rights are intellectual property.

The case carries implications for all social media platforms. A decision backing Fox 29 anchor Karen Hepp’s position potentially would make them liable for user-placed ads on their sites that may implicate someone’s publicity rights without consent.

Hepp argues that Facebook, Reddit Inc., and others are responsible for users’ wide circulation of an “unflattering and illicit” image of her, including in advertisements for singles sites, erectile dysfunction medication, ...

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