Publicity Rights in Facial Recognition and Other Biometric Data

Widespread use of facial recognition technology is inevitable. To date, industry–leading companies have shown remarkable restraint in implementing such features. Google has banned facial recognition apps on its Glass headset, and Facebook has refrained from rolling out the technology to the degree that it could, although it’s inching further in that direction. But as digital […]

Publicity Rights and LinkedIn – The Case of Eagle v. Morgan

In Eagle v. Morgan (E.D. Penn. March 12, 2013), a banking company was found liable for infringing the publicity rights of its former CEO, Dr. Eagle.  When Eagle left her position, the company used her password to access her LinkedIn account and lock her out of it.  They then replaced her information with that of […]

5 Predictions for Augmented Reality Law in 2013 (and a Look Back at 2012)

As a public radio commentator once said, augmented reality has “been the Next Big Thing for a while now, although it never manages to become the Actual Current Big Thing.”  In keeping with this Sisyphean observation, we did not (yet) see quite as much development in either AR technology or the law governing its use in […]

How Social Media Law Developed in 2012

In January of this year, I wrote an article for Mashable called “5 Predictions for Social Media Law in 2012.”  As the year comes to a close, I’m happy to report that all five came true.  Let’s take a look: 1.  Facebook Litigation Brings New Attention to the Right of Publicity.  A year ago, a […]

“Identity and Its Consequences”: My Chapter in Westlaw’s New Book

I’m pleased to announce that I wrote a chapter in Litigation Strategies for Intellectual Property Cases, 2012 ed.: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing Key Decisions and Effectively Litigating IP Cases, the newest book in Thomson Reuters’  Inside the Minds series.  It’s available now in the Westlaw store. My chapter is titled “Identity and Its Consequences: the Importance […]

Bodies as IP: Does the Right of Publicity Objectify Women?

This article poses a question to which I honestly don’t know the answer: is it good public policy to say that being physically attractive is all someone needs to have an enforceable right of publicity?  On one hand, defining the right of publicity in that way empowers attractive people (almost always young women) to stop […]

Cutting-Edge Diva: Virtual Assistants and the Right of Publicity

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of sources.  Newton, for example, is reputed to have worked out his theory of gravity when an apple fell on his head. And I got the idea for this blog post from watching the latest episode of Drop Dead Diva, a legal dramedy on the Lifetime Network. Let’s […]

[RESOURCE] The Right of Publicity in Michigan

Just in time for my presentation today to the Michigan Intellectual Property Association, I’ve added to this blog some resources on Right of Publicity law in Michigan.  This new section contains summaries of virtually every Michigan and Sixth Circuit case on the Right of Publicity, copies of relevant bills from the Michigan legislature, and more.  […]

Twitter Accounts as Brands: The OMGFacts Lawsuit

If they make a movie out of this lawsuit, they could call it The Social Network, Part Deux.  Less than a year after the Oscar-winning film about the struggle for control of Facebook hit the screens, a high schooler living a few hours’ drive from the social media giant’s headquarters filed this lawsuit against a […]

Forget Facial Recognition–Body Recognition May Be the Real Privacy Concern

“Take a picture; it’ll last longer.” Many times has that bit of sarcasm been directed at people who stare just a little too long. But suppose the guy is staring because he’s taking your picture? That creepy scenario may play itself out sooner than we think. While many commentators are (rightly) concerned about the ramifications […]