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Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons

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Selected Works

2015

Communication

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

Games Are Not Coffee Mugs: Games And The Right Of Publicity, 29 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 1 (2012), William K. Ford, Raizel Liebler Jul 2015

Games Are Not Coffee Mugs: Games And The Right Of Publicity, 29 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 1 (2012), William K. Ford, Raizel Liebler

William K. Ford

Are games more like coffee mugs, posters, and T-shirts, or are they more like books, magazines, and films? For purposes of the right of publicity, the answer matters. The critical question is whether games should be treated as merchandise or as expression. Three classic judicial decisions, decided in 1967, 1970, and 1973, held that the defendants needed permission to use the plaintiffs' names in their board games. These decisions judicially confirmed that games are merchandise, not something equivalent to more traditional media of expression. As merchandise, games are not like books; instead, they are akin to celebrity-embossed coffee mugs. To ...