by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 16th 2010 10:03pm
We've been talking a lot about publicity rights cases lately, and how this new form of "intellectual property" (based on various state laws) is already being widely abused in ways that appear to violate First Amendment rights. It looks like we may finally be getting some lawsuits to test the legality of such publicity rights claims. There's been an ongoing case filed against EA over whether or not it could use images of college football players without their consent. Many seem to think this case will bring the issue up to the level of Supreme Court review, and they're jumping in with amicus briefs. This is one time when I'm going to side with the likes of the MPAA and Viacom -- both of whom argued that EA is right and that the First Amendment should prevail over these rights. Of course, it's amusing that they seem to take a totally different stance when it comes to other forms of intellectual property. But those organizations aren't known for their logical consistency...
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