Richard Kaufman wrote:Bill, it has to do with ownership of someone's image and material. This is well settled in entertainment law. (In a case involving Bela Lugosi Jr., who was the attorney for the estate of the Three Stooges.)
The rights that Lugosi fought for exist only in states that have passed celebrity rights laws. They didn't exist at all before that, and with all due respect, they aren't completely "settled". And the use of celebrity's image, etc. has to have an element of endorsement. If I make and sell top hats, I can't just put Fred Astaire's picture on the label and call them "Astair Top Hats." I may be able, however, to sell pictures of Fred wearing a top hat (assuming I have copyrights or licenses to use the picture).
The ownership of the image, voice, name, likeness, etc. isn't all encompassing.
Just because someone shoots a video or film or person X, doesn't mean that video-maker has any right to show it to anyone publicly or sell it. The rights to person X's image belong to him or his heirs.
With certain exceptions as noted above, and arguing over the boundaries of those exceptions are why IP and Entertainment lawyers get paid more than magicians.
Ditto for letters: just because you own a letter (or a diary) written by person X doesn't mean that you have the right to publish it. This is also settled law.
True. This is wholly covered by copyright law, a separate field altogether. Whoever filmed the video of Vernon owns the copyrights to that video. If Vernon performed copyrighted material in that video, the owner of that material also has an interest in the video. But that isn't what we are talking about here.
Richard, neither you nor I (nor most of the people in this thread) are lawyers, and I was hoping a good one (Bob?) would step in and give a more detailed answer to my question.
Is a simple documentary film of a magician doing what a magician does, in a lecture/convention format, the sort of thing that the Celebrity Rights laws protect? It's akin to a documentary, which is akin to news reporting, which is pretty much exempt from these issues.