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Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2018

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Georgetown University Law Center

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

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder Nov 2018

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In today’s economy, consumers demand experiences. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, fans do not just want to watch or read about their favorite characters— they want to be them. They don the robes of Gryffindor, flick their wands, and drink the butterbeer. The owners of fantasy properties understand this, expanding their offerings from light sabers to the Galaxy’s Edge®, the new Disney Star Wars immersive theme park opening in 2019.

Since Star Wars, Congress and the courts have abetted what is now a $262 billion-a-year industry in merchandising, fashioning “merchandising rights” appurtenant to copyrights and trademarks that ...