Concept

California Celebrities Rights Act

Summary
The Celebrities Rights Act or Celebrity Rights Act was passed in California in 1985, which enabled a celebrity's personality rights to survive his or her death. Previously, the 1979 Lugosi v. Universal Pictures decision by the California Supreme Court held that Bela Lugosi's personality rights could not pass to his heirs, as a copyright would have. The court ruled that any rights of publicity, and rights to his image, terminated with Lugosi's death. California Civil Code section 3344 is for the publicity rights of living persons, while Civil Code section 3344.1, known as the Astaire Celebrity Image Protection Act, grants statutory post mortem rights to the estate of a "deceased personality", where:
  • that personality had been "any natural person whose name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness has commercial value at the time of his or her death",
  • any person using such personality's "name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness on or in products, merchandise or goods" withou
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