Advertisement Goes Against Ones Civil Rights And It Invades Ones Privacy

1232 words - 5 pages

“One man's gossip may be another man's news, but distinguishing between the two is often the key in determining whether the press is guilty of invasion of privacy.” Whether the article is newsworthy, whether the information is truthful, invasion of someone’s privacy is a tort, a civil wrong. Appropriation of name and likeness is one of the four forms of invasion of privacy that is defined as, one who appropriates to his own use or benefit the name or likeness of another is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy. Like every other tort there are cases that have different forms of a defense, and information that the plaintiff and defendant have to defend to prove civil ...view middle of the document...

Each defense has their own way of determining if the use of advertisement goes against ones civil rights or invades ones privacy.
Newsworthiness is the most often used defense but does not have a commercial purpose. Newsworthiness is often broadly interpreted and includes basically everything else other than commercial and trade-purpose material. Being one of the most often used defenses, here is an example of when appropriation of name and likeness came across the question was it newsworthy or not. One case involving newsworthiness and other defenses of appropriation of name and likeness was Lemerond v. 20th Century Fox, No. 07-4635, 2008 WL 918579 (S.D.N.Y. March 31, 2008). This case arose from the movie Borat, which included filming all of Borat’s journeys to America and his interactions with innocent people. In one scene of the humored film, Borat greeted the plaintiff Lemerond briefly speaking to him and then runs away. This brief encounter is shown both in the trailer where the plaintiff’s face is blurred and in the movie where Lemerond’s face is shown. Plaintiff Lemerond filed suit under New York Civil Rights Law section 51 and New York common law for the unlawful use of his image. The most critical question of the case was whether his appearance in the clips and trailer were for advertising purposes for the film, which involves appropriation of his name and likeness. The court looks into the case and decides that, “It first cited to case law that held the statute was limited to “nonconsensual commercial appropriations of the name, portrait, or likeness of a living person. It then pointed to another case which held that the nonconsensual use of a person’s image to depict “newsworthy events or matters of public interest” is protected by the statute.” After looking into each case the court then looked into another aspect of the case defining that it is a newsworthiness exception, which covered New York social trends or subject of the public interest. The court then finally decided that Borat’s amusing and foolish behavior directly fits within the newsworthiness and social commentary exception of the New York statute that states, “The movie employs as its chief medium a brand of humor that appeals to the most childish and vulgar in its viewers. As its core, however, Borat attempts an ironic commentary of ‘modern’ American culture…challenging its viewers to confront, not only the bizarre and offensive Borat character himself, but the equally bizarre and offensive reactions he elicits from ‘average’ Americans”. With this evidence of the statute the court cited a case that explained, “the mere fact that defendants are...

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