Michael Jackson's Estate Complains About Dancing MJ Zombie In Game

from the beat-it dept

ReallyEvilCanine alerts us to the news that the game Plants vs. Zombies has decided to change its dancing zombie, because Michael Jackson's estate complained that the zombie looked too much like Jackson. It's true. The zombie is obviously designed to look like Michael Jackson, and my guess (details are lacking) is that the estate threatened a publicity rights claim over the use:
This seems pretty silly. Publicity rights rules were put in place to try to stop people from thinking a famous person had endorsed a product. I can't see how anyone could have possibly thought that Michael Jackson or the Jackson estate had endorsed this particular game, or the dancing zombie Jackson.

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    candybeez (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 5:54am

    Thriller game

    I am very interested in this topic because I hope to give a presentation at a conference this fall on the topic of Thriller's everlasting dancing zombies. Of course I'd like to use some clips of the real Thriller and its progeny. I wasn't sure if Michael Jackson's Thriller would be considered "public domain" or if this could be considered "fair use" or if I'd have to request permission from the estate. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this. I agree with scavengers and PaulT.
    What IS the problem? I don't see one. Of course, Disney once sued an elementary school for using of one of its characters in a mural. I find this highly ironic. Disney is the last thing from original.

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