Alabama's Right of Publicity Act
While serving as General Counsel of The University of Alabama System, Cooper Shattuck co-authored this article with Lee Armstrong, General Counsel of Auburn University, on Alabama's Right of Publicity Act.
Samsung dresses up a robot in a blonde wig, jewelry and a flashy dress and puts her in front of the “Wheel of Fortune” game board; Ford Motor Company uses Bette Midler’s longtime backup singer as an impersonator; Mars, Inc. uses the image of an M&M dressed up as Robert Burck, the Naked Cowboy; and OutKast names a famous song “Rosa Parks”–these are all famous cases involving an individual’s right of publicity. When Governor Bentley signed into law the Alabama Right of Publicity Act, Alabama joined at least 19 other states with a codified law outlining the scope and protections of the right of publicity. Alabama’s new statute, and others like it, provides protection for an individual’s name, image and likeness, among other attributes, from commercial exploitation without consent.