Public Outcry Leads Minnesota Politician To Drop Terrible Idea For The PRINCE Act

from the good-news dept

Last week, we wrote about a terrible idea from Minnesota politician Joe Hoppe, for the PRINCE Act (Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act), which was a massively broad publicity rights law, clearly designed to capitalize on Prince's recent death. In fact, as we noted, the bill could be read to violate itself, since the whole point was to block people from exploiting the likeness or name of a famous person like Prince for various purposes, including commercial purposes and fundraising. Hoppe, apparently missing the irony entirely, had no problem saying that he was pushing the bill to exploit Prince's death.
“I’ve had people say, `Is it just prompted by the death of Prince?’ Yeah, essentially it is. Really, what it’s doing is it’s attempting to recognize the right of publicity postmortem,” Hoppe said.
Thankfully, lots of people spoke out against the bill -- including many in Minnesota itself, pointing out how the law would stifle free speech for no good reason.

Apparently surprised by the unexpected backlash to his attempt to exploit Prince's death by stopping others from exploiting Prince's death, Hoppe has now announced that the bill is being set aside for the rest of this legislative session -- but may come back in the future. Hopefully, if it does, Hoppe will have taken some time to understand just how problematic broad publicity rights laws can be.

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  1. identicon
    annonymouse, 19 May 2016 @ 8:55pm

    Well if it did pass then the the right to use of the name prince in any form would revert to the house of Windsor. Charles would most likely chuckle appropriately.

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