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Posts Tagged ‘right of publicity’

New technology has made its way into campaign ads. A group that wants to “counter-balance” Meg Whitmans’ financial advantage in the California Governor race has come out with an advertisement using a computer-generated avatar for Meg named “Meg-a-tar.” Meg is the former CEO of Ebay. Although the avatar is not flattering and speaks poorly about Meg Whitman, I’m not sure if it will hurt her campaign or bring about more interest in her campaign among younger voters.  On the other hand, this creation may breach Meg’s right of publicity.  Every person has the right to control the use of his or her own likeness, especially for commercial purposes. These cases usually arise in product endorsement situations, but one could make the argument that only Meg Whitman has the right to create and publish a Meg-a-tar to endorse her own candidacy and that it is actually a breach of this right to use a Meg-a-tar without her consent. I don’t think I would want a Kim-a-tar out there espousing rhetoric that I did not approve. Let me know if you’ve seen the clip, and if so, how do you think Meg should respond?

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