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2020

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

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Constitutional Law

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The First Amendment And The Right(S) Of Publicity, Jennifer E. Rothman, Robert C. Post Oct 2020

The First Amendment And The Right(S) Of Publicity, Jennifer E. Rothman, Robert C. Post

All Faculty Scholarship

The right of publicity protects persons against unauthorized uses of their identity, most typically their names, images, or voices. The right is in obvious tension with freedom of speech. Yet courts seeking to reconcile the right with the First Amendment have to date produced only a notoriously confused muddle of inconsistent constitutional doctrine. In this Article, we suggest a way out of the maze. We propose a relatively straightforward framework for analyzing how the right of publicity should be squared with First Amendment principles.

At the root of contemporary constitutional confusion lies a failure to articulate the precise state interests …