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Michael Jordan’s $8.9 Million damages award is instructive

August 24, 2015 No Comments »
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This should lay to rest that old yarn that “it is easier to get forgiveness than permission.”  Late last week, Michael Jordan won an $8.9 Million damages award against the grocery store that used his Right of Publicity without permission in print ads that ran in Sports Illustrated.

At trial, jurors heard the familiar infringer’s refrain that Dominick’s achieved no benefit from the ads, and based on expert valuation testimony, the most it should pay for the ad was around $126,000.  Of course, this overlooks the fact that Michael Jordan apparently does not do deals for $126,000 and rather, the starting fee for a license to use Jordan’s Right of Publicity is generally in the $10 Million range.

So at $8.9 Million, Dominick’s may have gotten a 10.1 % discount.

Deflategate, the NFL suspension, Tom Brady and Free Brady! t-shirts

August 14, 2015 No Comments »
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Not long after the NFL issued Tom Brady his deflategate suspension, Barstool Sports issued a “Free Brady!” t-shirt.  The design has a strong resemblance to Shephard Fairey’s “Hope” rendering that was used in President Obama’s 2008 campaign.  Below is a link analyzing the question of whether the Free Brady work is a fair use or copyright infringement, but I have to note that Tom Brady’s Right of Publicity is also implicated by the t-shirt which is not mentioned in the below analysis.

#deflategate  #FreeBrady #NFL #Bradysuspension #TomBrady #RightofPublicity #ShephardFairey #Hope

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