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The Right of Publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial use of an individual's name, likeness, or other recognizable aspects of one's persona, such as voice. It gives an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial exploitation.

bulletThe Publishing Law Center
bulletCornell's Legal Information Institute
bulletState Right to Publicity Laws
bulletThe Expanding Right Of Publicity
bulletRight of Publicity Blog (Stanford)


Right of Publicity Legislation

The right of publicity is an development of the right of privacy. The right of publicity is based on state, not federal, law. The basis in state law may be statutory or common law and there is a great deal of variation, for example, some states provide protection only for the life of a person, while others allow the right to be inherited.

Most states recognize some form of publicity rights, although only about half refer to the right specifically as a publicity right. The rest typically provide protection under the state privacy or unfair competition laws.


bulletCalifornia (signed by Governor on October 10, 2007)
bulletWashington (signed by Governor on March 18, 2008)


bulletConnecticut (HB 6818)
bulletIllinois (bill passed Legislature, but blocked from being sent to Governor; motion to reconsider vote filed on May 30, 2008)
bulletMichigan (HB 5567 and SB 983)
bulletNew York (S 6005-A and A 8836-A)


New Jersey (A1595)

Right of Publicity Bills Relating to Military Personnel


bulletMaryland (signed by Governor on May 22, 2008)


bulletNew Hampshire (HB 1526 passed House)
bulletNew York (S 39-C and A 2195-C)
bulletOhio (SB 263)



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