Right of Publicity Law & Legal Definition


Right of publicity means the right of an individual to control any commercial use of his/her name, image, or some other aspects of one's identity. In the U.S., it is a state law-based right. In the U.S., right of publicity is enforced through state law. The recognition of the right varies from state to state. Some states have clearly provided this right by way of statute. States which do not have specific legislation relating to the right to publicity recognize the right by way of common law. It is generally considered a property right rather than a personal right. So the right of publicity is descendible to the person's heirs after their death.

The Right of Publicity is a rapidly-evolving right with great increase in reported cases in the United States and worldwide. The right of publicity is also termed as publicity rights or personality rights.

The following is an example of a state statute (Indiana) defining the right of publicity.

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 32-36-1-7. Right of publicity.

"Right of publicity" means a personality's property interest in the personality's:

(1) name;

(2) voice;

(3) signature;

(4) photograph;

(5) image;

(6) likeness;

(7) distinctive appearance;

(8) gestures; or

(9) mannerisms.