Age of the Living Dead: Personality Rights of Deceased Celebrities

Authors

  • David Collins

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29173/alr1387

Abstract

This article examines the legal issues arising from digital technology that allows filmmakers to create features starring flawlessly rendered images of deceased celebrities, known as "synthespians." Recent developments in the law of personality rights in California have established that deceased stars' personality rights extend beyond death, permitting heirs to seek damages for wrongful uses. In Canada the tort of misappropriation of personality has been extended after death both at common law and in the privacy acts of some provinces. This article examines instances where courts have ruled against uses, often where there has been commercial exploitation, of the dead actor s persona and concludes with recommendations on strategies to regulate this area of the law.

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