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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

California accords a celebrity both a statutory and a common law right of publicity. Recent Ninth Circuit decisions, while construing California statutes narrowly, have suggested a scope of California common law protection that is broader than, and different from, that indicated by California state court precedents. This Note summarizes the California statutory right of publicity and the common law right based on state appellate court cases, comparing them to the Ninth Circuit view in Waits v. Frito Lay, Inc. and White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The author concludes that legislative action is necessary to define the scope of the California right more clearly and to restrain it within the bounds dictated by historical context and policy considerations.

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