NAME, IMAGE, AND LIKENESS: THE CONTROVERSY OF IDENTITY LICENSING
(LAWW-4090) - 1 UNIT
This course centers on the rights of athletes, entertainers and influencers to control their identifying characteristics. Pursuant to state laws, Americans enjoy a right of publicity. Professional athletes and entertainers have long profited from this right, and through the recent rise of social media, influencers have as well. States' right of publicity laws vary in important ways, including in regard to protected characteristics and postmortem applications. Until July 1, 2021, college athletes were denied a chance to utilize these laws. A body of rules captured by the moniker "NCAA amateurism" had conditioned eligibility to play a sport - and to receive an athletic scholarship - on college athletes not using their right of publicity. Pursuant to state NIL statutes, governors' NIL executive orders, and the NCAA's interim NIL policy, college athletes are now able to hire agents and negotiate the use of their names, images, and likenesses with video game companies, apparel companies, trading card shows, athletic camps, and other industries without accompanying penalty by the NCAA or member schools. The NCAA has lobbied Congress for a federal approach to NIL. This course examines the right of publicity, NIL rights and their relationship to other legal conventions, including media law, agency law, video game law, trademark law, copyright law, labor law, and antitrust law.