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March 22, 2017

Publicity Class Action Lawsuits Appear to Be Getting a Lot of Attention

By Justin O. Kay and Zoë K. Wilhelm

Chicago partner Justin O. Kay and Los Angeles associate Zoë K. Wilhelm authored “Publicity Class Action Lawsuits Appear to Be Getting a Lot of Attention” for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. While many rightfully associate the phrase “rights of publicity” with various celebrities, plaintiffs’ firms are increasingly turning to rights of publicity statutes to bring class actions on behalf of everyday citizens.

The article examines one of the more representative statutes enacted by the states, the Illinois Right of Publicity Act (IRPA); the statutory damages available (which make right of publicity class actions attractive to plaintiffs’ attorneys); and the varying results when such actions have been challenged at the pleading stage. Justin and Zoë also detail the recent spate of right of publicity class action cases against app developers and data aggregators like Groupon; Hey, Inc.; Twitter; Everalbum; Intelius Inc./PeopleConnect, Inc.; BeenVerified; and Spokeo. The article concludes that the success or failure of these most recent filings will likely dictate whether we see additional similar litigation attacking other industries, further pushing the boundaries of the right of publicity statutes.

Read “Publicity Class Action Lawsuits Appear to be Getting a lot of Attention.” (Subscription required)

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