Amicus brief filed in Lohan suit against Grand Theft Auto V

26 01 2018

An appeal brought by Lindsay Lohan against Take-Two Entertainment and Rockstar Games in relation to the Lacey Jonas character in Grand Theft Auto V has inspired an amicus brief, filed last month, by various law professors in support of the video game companies.   I am not commenting on the merits of Lohan’s claim here.  This entry is just an observation of anti-right of publicity sentiment in general, not a response or refutation to the brief itself.

The Lohan case is pending in New York.  The amicus brief references New York’s right of privacy statute (Sections 50 and 51 and suggests that this statute is somehow commendable.  This legislation, as it shapes New York’s position on the right of publicity, is sorely deficient and puts New York at odds with almost every state in the U.S.  It does New York’s citizens no favors and allows no room for the critical policy reasons behind right of publicity recognition, as distinct from privacy rights.  It is hard to imagine that New York’s antiquated position on the right of publicity, and this 115 year old statute, could be characterized as anything but the source of a lot of problems.



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