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Incidental Intellectual Property, Brian L. Frye Jan 2017

Incidental Intellectual Property, Brian L. Frye

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

As Mark Twain apocryphally observed, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” The history of the right of publicity reflects a common intellectual property rhyme. Much like copyright, the right of publicity is an incidental intellectual property right that emerged out of regulation. Over time, the property right gradually detached itself from the regulation and evolved into an independent legal doctrine.

Copyright emerged from the efforts of the Stationers’ Company to preserve its members’ monopoly on the publication of works of authorship. Similarly, it can be argued the right of publicity emerged from the efforts of bubblegum companies ...