“Celebrity Rights of Publicity: For Sale, But Not Necessarily Available For Creditors”
A person can sell or license his or her publicity rights for commercial purposes, but can those rights also be involuntarily taken away? One’s immediate reaction is almost certainly no, since those rights are quite personal. But what about creditors that have loaned significant amounts of money to that individual on the basis of the assumed value of the individual’s publicity rights? How about for creditors of persons who have intentionally caused them bodily or emotional harm – does that change your answer? Put another way, should the famous be able to continue to leverage their notoriety while creditors who loaned money to them on that basis go unsatisfied? These questions are at the moment largely unanswered, but recent case law provides some insight.