Marilyn Monroe’s Image is Cast Into the Public Domain — Sort Of (Guest Blog Post)

28 01 2013

by Guest Blogger Tyler Ochoa [check out Prof. Ochoa’s casebook on publicity rights / affiliate link]

In 2011, Marilyn Monroe was #3 on Forbes magazine’s annual list of top-earning dead celebrities, earning $27 million for her estate. Next year, however, she may be absent from the list. Why? A month ago, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that stripped Monroe’s estate of her post-mortem right of publicity, potentially casting her name and likeness into the public domain. See Milton H. Greene Archives, Inc. v. Marilyn Monroe LLC, ___ F.3d ____, 2012 WL 3743100, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18419 (9th Cir. Aug. 30, 2012).


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