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George Clooney in media law

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George Clooney in media law Empty George Clooney in media law

Post by profloving Wed 16 Dec 2020, 21:03

George Clooney is in the 15th edition of "Law of Mass Communications," published by Foundation Press. Don't buy the book. It's a media law textbook, costs about $100 and only mentions George Clooney on a couple of pages. I am one of the two co-authors for this edition.
He is in a section of privacy rights, but not regarding his own privacy rights.

Jodi Tyne, the widow of fishing captain Billy Tyne, and the couple's two daughters sued Warner Brothers alleging that the movie company's use of Billy Tyne constituted an appropriation of his name and likeness. The Florida trial court granted summary judgment to Warner Brothers and Tyne's family appealed, ultimately reaching the Florida Supreme Court.

The Florida Supreme Court looked to the state statute that created the right to sue for appropriation. The statute, Section 540.08 Florida StatutesTT, prohibits the unauthorized use of a name to directly promote the product or service of the publisher, the court explained.

"Thus, the publication is harmful not simply because it is included in a publication that is sold for a profit, but rather because of the way it associates the individual's name or his personality with something else. Such is not the case here."

It is a difficult concept for many students. Warner Brothers made a lot of money from the film, they say. How is using Billy Tyne in the movie not an appropriation of his likeness. Isn't appearing in a movie that got money from people buying tickets a commercial use?

I figured out a way to make clear the difference by writing that if George Clooney, in character, turned to the camera in mid-scene and told the audience they should get cable and Internet service from Time-Warner, that would constitute the use of Billy Tyne in commerce in the movie. But, because he appears in character throughout the movie, it isn't a commercial use because he isn't selling anything on screen

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George Clooney in media law Empty Re: George Clooney in media law

Post by LizzyNY Thu 17 Dec 2020, 16:59

👋Hello, Profloving! Welcome to COH. Thanks for posting about George's mention in your book and for your interesting explanation of "commercial use". I wonder why Warner Brothers didn't approach the Tyne family for approval before the movie was made.

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