50 years after her death, the income of Marilyn Monroe's
estate is under threat now that a New York court has decided
that her image belongs to everyone (see case report below).
The estate - the third biggest money maker for dead celebrities
behind Elvis and Michael Jackson - has been stripped of its
ability to charge for the use of Marilyn's image.
The ruling of the Court of Appeal in New York is based on
an unusual set of circumstances, but illustrates the problems
facing celebrities and their estates in protecting and
commercialising their image effectively, something also experienced
by the Humphrey Bogart estate. Read how Burberry has fallen foul of Bogart's
estate (free registration needed).
Guernsey's forthcoming Image Rights legislation deals
with all the aspects of such protection for both living
and dead personalities and will give celebrities the unique
ability to effectively protect and manage their personality and
related image rights for the first time.
Collas Crill is at the forefront of Image Rights services in
Guernsey. Contact us to find out more about the new law, which
comes into effect in December and creates a world first in a
registrable image right.
Marilyn Monroe estate income endangered
Marilyn Monroe is Forbes' third highest money-maker in
its Top Earning Dead Celebrities rankings.
In summary, on her death Marilyn's official domicile was
listed as New York, rather than California, for tax reasons.
However, a New York court last week ruled in favour of those
who believe her estate has been wrongly extracting a fee each time
Monroe's image is used.
As the Court pointed out, Marilyn herself predicted such a
dispute, saying "I knew I belonged to the public and to
the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because
I had never belonged to anything or anyone else".
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
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