Archive for the ‘publicity rights’ Category

School Assembly Shocker: Student’s Social Media Skimmed for Slideshow

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Lynde Point Lighthouse near Old Saybrook, Conn. (Photo: Robert J. Beyus, NPS)

A high school in Connecticut illustrated a slideshow on internet privacy with photos of the school’s students, taken from Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Kashmir Hill called the ploy a “clever lesson,” and she gave “[k]udos to the Connecticut high school employee who came up with this dramatic lesson on Internet safety.”

Some students at Old Saybrook High School, however, reacted angrily, saying it invaded their privacy.

Do the students have a point? Legally speaking, yeah, maybe.

I think this would probably not make for an ultimately successful lawsuit for copyright or right-of-publicity infringement. But there’s probably enough on both of those causes of action to file a complaint that isn’t frivolous. And hey, publicity rights have been getting crazy lately, so you never know.

So far no word on whether Righthaven is trying to sign up students for copyright lawsuits.

According to the New Haven Register, principal Oliver Barton said the pictures selected were publicly accessible and thought unlikely to embarrass anyone.

But that didn’t stop the backlash.

For me, I just can’t believe school administrators thought this was a good idea. What a great way to peeve off parents. While I question their sense of judgment, it does look like their lesson is working. Check out this passage from the New Haven Register article:

“They told us we were going to watch something about Internet safety, and they said they personalized the slide show, ” said a freshman named Kayla, who didn’t want to use her last name.

Did you catch that? Kayla didn’t want to use her last name!

Lesson learned.

Jonas Brother Threatens Blogger Zack Taylor

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Celebuzz reports that Jonas brother Joe is threatening a lawsuit against blogger Zack Taylor over a post headlined, “DEMI LOVATO AND JOE JONAS ARE FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS?!

TMZ chimes in as well, and they have posted a pdf of the nastygram from law firm Carroll, Guido & Groffman, LLP, saying that Taylor’s post is defamatory and asserting a completely absurd right-of-publicity claim:

We understand that you have posted a number of similar blogs on the Website over the last few months — all of which contain fabricated stories about our client and his brothers, Nicholas Jonas and Kevin Jonas — in what appears to be a desperate attempt to promote the Website through the unlawful exploitation of their names and likenesses.

And what’s up with calling a blog post a “blog”? Does this guy also think the New York Times publishes its most important newspapers every day on its front page?