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Thelonius Monk suit illuminates risk in craft beer labels

August 31, 2017 No Comments »
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The rise in craft brewing labels has been accompanied by a custom in the industry to develop colorful names and labels.  While this dynamic creates the likelihood of infringements occurring, a recent lawsuit filed by the estate of Thelonius Monk involves additional considerations and backstory.

The North Coast Brewing Company apparently has produced its Brother Thelonious ale for about ten years.  Initially, permission was given verbally by the Monk estate.  Some degree of profits were to be given to the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit music education program in D.C.  The dispute seems to involve activities beyond the anticipated use that was authorized verbally.

That said, it seems likely that the craft brewing industry has the potential to yield similar disputes involving iconic personalities.  For practitioners working with craft breweries, or the breweries themselves, this lawsuit could be instructive.

Here is a link to more details and an image of the Brother Thelonius label:

http://www.sfgate.com/beer/article/Thelonious-Monk-estate-sues-North-Coast-Brewing-12162234.php


Two articles on the business of Right of Publicity

June 12, 2017 No Comments »
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Two informative articles have issued in the last week, on the heels of the 2017 Licensing Show.  Both are informative and include input from industry leaders.

Forbes:   Forbes Business of Deceased Icons

and Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/592fa717e4b00afe556b0b27

Delebrities

 


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