Copyright Office Proposes Federal Right of Publicity Law (1)

April 24, 2019, 5:31 PM

The U.S. Copyright Office has proposed creating the first federal right-of-publicity law that would provide minimum protections amid a patchwork of state laws that protect the commercial use of names, images, and likenesses.

The office suggested that Congress enact a “narrowly tailored” law that would not pre-empt existing state laws or precedents but provide a “floor” of protection for right of publicity. Most, but not all, states have either a statute or a controlling precedent that provides some level of the right.

The proposal came in a study of moral rights, which endow creators of original works with the power...

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