What exactly is the price of fame? For many Emerging Celebrities, the cost of fame is the forfeiture of significant portions of the rights of their personas. More specifically, reality television stars hoping to enter the entertainment industry and amateur athletes hoping to eventually enter into professional leagues face parallel experiences of being forced into industry standard contracts in which they must give up a significant amount of publicity rights. In giving up these rights, these Emerging Celebrities forfeit millions-of-dollars of potential income to their respective industries, which they could have generated for themselves by freely utilizing their publicity rights in the open market.
Even though some may allege that Emerging Celebrities can elect not to enter into these contracts, no other reasonable alternatives exist for Emerging Celebrities who want to achieve their specific career goals. Therefore, state courts should statutorily limit the length of time and amount of profit the reality television and college sports industries can contractually receive from Emerging Celebrities. This Comment will discuss the potential legal injustice of publicity rights clauses in industry standard contracts, and propose a potential solution in the form of statutory limitations imposed through individual state laws.
What Good Is Fame if You Can't Be Famous in Your Own Right?: Publicity Right Woes of the Almost Famous,
16 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 467
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol16/iss2/4