Shake-Down: How Professional and College Athletes ‘ Right of Publicity are becoming an Endangered Species

Edward Elliot

Abstract


This article compares the right of publicity of celebrities with that of professional and college athletes. Sec.I of this article introduces and defines the concept of right of publicity. Sec.2 begins with a brief background on the history of the right of publicity and its intersection with the First Amendment. Sec. 3 traces the evolution of the right of publicity as it pertains to professional athletes, collegiate athletes and non-athlete celebrities. Sec. 4  illustrates what the present state of the right of publicity jurisprudence is regarding professional athletes, collegiate athletes and non-athlete celebrities. It proceeds to frame the legal issue of whether there are any discrepancies in the application of the right of publicity as to professional and collegiate athletes compared with that of non-athlete celebrities. To analyze this issue, the paper focuses on an in-depth analysis of the evolution of the right of publicity but more importantly the present state of the right of publicity as applied to the aforementioned three discussed classes. Finally, Sec. 5 concludes that it appears that non-athlete celebrities do enjoy a favorable interpretation of this tort claim compared to professional athletes with collegiate athletes faring the worst.

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JICLT is a member of the Directory of Open-Access Journals (www.doaj.org). ISSN: 1901-8401.