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Notre Dame Law School

Intellectual Property Law

2015

Publicity rights

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Brief Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support Of Defendant-Appellee National Football League, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet Mar 2015

Brief Of Amici Curiae Law Professors In Support Of Defendant-Appellee National Football League, Mark Mckenna, Rebecca Tushnet

Court Briefs

Based on the undisputed facts, the NFL’s films in this case are noncommercial speech; their profit-seeking and brand-building nature are standard features of noncommercial speech. Truthful, nondefamatory noncommercial speech deserves full First Amendment protection, and there is no justification for allowing Appellants to control speech about them in this case.

Separately, Appellants’ right of publicity claims are preempted by the Copyright Act, which allows owners of copyrighted works to exploit those works by reproduction, distribution, creation of derivative works, and public performance—precisely the conduct at issue here.

Finally, Appellants’ trademark claims are also precluded by the First Amendment ...