As broken down by The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel is going after Latino Review (specifically Da7e) for leaking information about ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Threatening their career, calling them just another fan, and saying, “If you provide me with your source, I will make it worth your effort. ” Latino Review, being no dummy, quickly points out that their threat holds little legal weight and that they were simply doing their job well. THR brings up a similar case in which Apple went after those leaking information and the court sided with the bloggers.
Under the state given Right of Publicity, Kardashian has the right to control the commercial use of her name, image, and likeness. The question is whether Melissa Molinaro looks enough like Kardashian in the advertisement and whether Old Navy mislead the public.
The case is not without precedent either, celebrities have sued and won in the past for such infringements.
The most famous Right of Publicity cases are the so-called “impersonator” cases.· Midler v. Ford Motor Co. 849 F.2d 460 (9th Cir. 1989) and Waits v. Frito-Lay, Inc. 978 F.2d 1093 (9th Cir. 1992) involved similar fact patterns in that both Bette Midler and Tom Waits declined to lend their distinctive voices to advertising jingles for two prominent manufacturers. Undeterred, the advertisers in each case simply found sound-alike performers who could duplicate the vocal timbre and styling of Bette Midler and Tom Waits. Both Midler and Waits prevailed on Right of Publicity claims which yielded $400,000 for Midler and $2,500,000 for Waits several years later.
In another famous impersonator case, White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung utilized a robot that looked and acted like Vanna White of “Wheel of Fortune” fame. 971 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1992). This usage was an infringement because Samsung had deliberately pawned the image and popularity of White and because White was readily identifiable from the context of the use. She was awarded $403,000.
In a major win for the video game industry and Free Speech, the United States Supreme Court has struck down California’s game law. It was a 7-2 decision, ruling that state laws forbidding the sale or rental of violent games to minors do not comport with the First Amendment.
The full 92 page decision can be found here. The decision was supported by our country’s history of not restricting depictions of violence to minors and correlation not causation of violence in children due to video games. They also cited many historical accounts, including much classic literature, that contain good deal of violence but go uncensored.
The dissent on the other hand interpreted free speech as not including the right to speak to children without going through their parents.
It’s an incredibly interesting debate and definitely a coup for free speech supporters and the video game industry. I wonder if it will have ripples throughout other industries or mature/obscene content in media.
Also, as a reminder the MPAA’s movie ratings system holds no legal weight in the local, state, or federal government. So no, it isn’t against the law for a minor to go to an R rated movie.