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Dionne Warwick, former members of the Shirelles file suit over Broadway musical “Baby It’s You!”

May 6, 2011 No Comments »
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Dionne Warwick, Chuck Jackson and surviving members of the Shirrelles have filed suit against Warner Bros. Theater Ventures and Broadway Baby over the recently launched production “Baby It’s You!”  The lawsuit alleges that the production constitutes “the brazen unauthorized use of their names and likenesses in connection with Defendants’ new Broadway show.”

The co-writer of the show, Floyd Mutrux was involved situation over his Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet.”  While a lawsuit was not filed in that situation, was a settlement allegedly was reached with Jerry Lee Lewis (who was a character in the production).  I won’t comment directly on the merits of the claim or its value, but I expect the language of New York’s Civil Law, sections 50 and 51, will be closely examined in the briefings.  Here’s a link to the New York law:  http://rightofpublicity.com/statutes/new-york

Pay attention to the language in the statute, about halfway through Section 51, which appears to address depictions of a living person in, among other things, musical productions.  Here’s a link to the story:  http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118036021

Follow me on Twitter:  @FaberLaw


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