Kim Kardashian Sues Old Navy For Hiring Actress Who Looks Like Her
from the big-ass-infringement dept
Kim Kardashian doesn’t get written about much on Techdirt because she’s not relevant in the world of…well, in the world, really. But you may remember her being discussed back when she was upset that some cookie-diet company was featuring news stories suggesting she liked their product on their website. Now we have a story in the LA Times, sent in by John MacMullen, detailing her new lawsuit against Old Navy for infringing on her publicity rights…or something.
We’ve been hearing more about these publicity rights being tossed around lately, but that doesn’t mean they’re new. Fortunately for us, at least these types of cases tend to be entertaining in their ridiculousness. Perhaps you’ve heard the case involving Vanna White and the company that got sued for having a blonde-haired robot that dared to turn letters? Or the one where Johnny Carson sued Here’s Johnny Portable Toilets Inc. because he used the tagline "the world’s most famous commodian" on The Tonight Show? Well, I don’t know if Kim can top that, but let’s take a look.
Apparently Old Navy hired an actress that looks like Kim and featured her in a television ad campaign. If you’re waiting for a follow up including some kind of long list of Kardashian-related things the actress did in the video or some kind of hinting that Old Navy themselves did to suggest something related to Kim, there isn’t any. She just looks like Kim Kardashian, which apparently is enough to sue over. You can see the commercial for yourself below (make sure you have a barf bag handy):
So I have a couple of questions.
First: How does just hiring someone that looks like someone else require a lawsuit? At no point when I braved my way through watching the commercial did I think to myself, "Oh, that’s totally something Kim Kardashian would have done". I mean, if the commercial showed the actress, oh I don’t know, waving the Armenian flag, that would’ve been one thing. And perhaps if the commercial showed her videotaping herself being nailed by a mildly talented R&B singer, I would have inferred the reference. But the casting call for the commercial didn’t even call for a Kim look-a-like! The actress, Melissa Molinaro, told E! Online that her casting call had been "for a true dance pop superstar."
Second: At what point does this work the other way around? Molinaro said in relation to this story:
"Thank God I booked this commercial because I’ve gotten so much airtime."
What if, as a result of this thing, she becomes famous? Like, really famous? Say, more famous than Kim Kardashian? Does that mean Kim can’t ever do an ad campaign again, because Molinaro will immediately file suit?