August 9, 2017
Partner David Fink
was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA
article “Virtual Celebrity Avatars Mean Real Legal Headaches,” discussing the legal implications of using a celebrity’s likeness to create avatars for video games, and how companies can defend against right-of-publicity claims if they can show the avatar is not being used for commercial purposes.
“The concept of commercial use is already vague when it comes to video game avatars,” said David. “In the virtual reality context, it will be at least as blurry as with video games. The use of the technology is essential in determining commercial use. If virtual reality is used to simply enhance a traditionally expressive experience, the product will likely be protected by the First Amendment. But if VR is used for gaming, one would have to look to video game right-of-publicity claims, which have resulted in a murky, inconsistent field of court rulings.”
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