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The Right of Publicity and the First Amendment

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Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.  

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  • Privacy , Privacy - Right of Publicity , Video
  • Jun 24, 2014

The Right of Publicity and the First Amendment

The right of publicity is not a constitutional right. In fact, the United States constitution does not so much as mention the right of publicity (not even the penumbra). The right of publicity is fundamentally an economic right to exploit your name, image and likeness for commercial gain.

The constitution, more specifically, the First Amendment, keeps the right of publicity in check. The First Amendment protects our right to comment on, parody, and make other expressive uses of a person’s image. Much to the consternation of celebrities lampooned on Southpark, the right of…

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  • First Amendment , Privacy , Privacy - Right of Publicity
  • Jun 18, 2014

Another Student's View:  Revenge Porn – Where to Draw the Line

Chelsea MacRae, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Spring 2014 Mass Communication Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the following essay in response to the prompt: “You just went through a nasty breakup with your significant other. A few days after your final fight, a friend sent you the link to an inappropriate website and you are on the front page. You significant other posted a personal video of the two of you being intimate and included your name in the video description. What can you do? What should you be able to do?…

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  • Pepperdine Student Comments , Privacy , Privacy - Intrusion , Privacy - Private Facts
  • Jun 04, 2014

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