June 20, 2017

Professor Chris Buccafusco’s op-ed in Monday’s Albany Times Union argues that two bills currently being considered by the New York State Legislature would dismantle New York's right of privacy laws and replace them with an overly broad "right of publicity." The law would give celebrities and their heirs control over how their likenesses, characteristics and mannerisms are used.

Buccafusco says, “New York law already provides robust protection against unauthorized uses of one's name, likeness and voice. The proposed bill radically expands this, allowing liability as well for uses of a person's "characteristics" and "mannerisms" — the way they walk, the way they dress, or their particular facial expression or hand gesture. The law also expands liability far beyond the use of likenesses in advertising or for commercial gain, activities already regulated. The proposed law places under threat any creative or informational use — including in film or TV documentaries and dramas, and news programming. All of these lie at the core of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

To read the full article, visit Albany Times Union.