GoDaddy customer service : Good idea to pay for GoDaddy?? Landmark Monroe Case Favors Classic Celeb Domainers

Get GoDaddy web hosting for just $1.99. Click here to use coupon...

Special $7.49 .COM sales. Click here for this special deal...


Movie star and and all other famous names.

Now declared as 'public domain' domains.

In the area of post-mortem publicity right disputes, the following event was very important, to say the least.

The Southern District of New York this week issued a huge decision, that is seen as a major victory for many types of businesses, notably anyone owning domains that use the names of famous dead celebrities.

In Shaw Family Archives v. Marilyn Monroe LLC, it held that Marilyn Monroe's heirs cannot claim any "post-mortem publicity rights" because she died long before the enactment of a recent California statute that was designed to claim them.

A vital point in this matter was also the hotly contested debate over whether or not such random new and future statutes could also be retroactive. By it's decision today, the court said no, they cannot.

According to this court, Monroe's image, likeness and persona are all in the public domain. Now not just "licensed" businesses can put her likeness on T-shirts, mugs, posters, etc. - anyone can do it. (An arena the court did not rule on, however, was that of copyrighted photos. Laws regarding those will of course remain as they were.).

Over the decades, lawyers licensing dead celebrities has become a multi-million dollar business. But California, which contains Hollywood - the main "celebrity factory" never got around to passing any relevant statute until 1984, when 90% of all classic celebrities had already passed on to their reward. And now many more folks stand to make a buck off such cache, now that things have finally officially opened up.

Needless to say, certain greedy lawyer types are dismayed about this decision, but they can do nothing about it except file worthless appeals, pass more statutes that are again too late to affect any dead celeb "clients," and just gripe about it in general. The concept of "intellectual property" in this field, therefore, has just gone down the tubes. (That's not a YouTube pun, but it's appropriate.).

One point that came forward was the mind-boggling greed that had been displayed by the former few users of such celebs, such as cheap-looking commercials showing them (via CGI video trickery) hawking everything from popcorn to pajamas. The "licensed" boys got so greedy, in fact, that they crossed the line with such tacky commercialized stunts and turned a lot of people off - especially including the court.

It'll be interesting to see if the whole new breed of new "public domain" users, created by this decision, treats all those dead celebs with a lot more of the honor and respect they so richly deserve. Hopefully they will...

Comments (6)

This is only for that district. If this goes to the Supreme Court, as it probably will, then that decision will hold.

The GNP of Memphis (Elvis) could take a big hit with this...

Comment #1

I really hope this has teeth, because I REALLY want to see some new movies with certain deceased actors created entirely in CGI. Bruce Lee's wife and sister say that they will never allow Bruce (and I assume Brandon as well) to be "exploited" this way, but they wouldn't have a choice with this in effect. How awesome would it be to see a proper edit of The Crow or Game of Death?!..

Comment #2

This was the end result of a years-long debate. So no indication that there is any appeal going on by anyone at this point, let alone a Supreme Court beef. As to T-shirts, yes. Parking, no. The powers that be still take a dim view of anyone just regging names and doing nothing with them.

The domain names in question still must be used, much as a trademark must be used, as it were, to legally keep it alive. Otherwise, if they think you're just "parkin' and barkin'," (ie just being a sideshow barker) they'll still ding you.

You need to have an actual site with content before you can include links to your products, and you must also not promote or link to anything that could be considered being in compettition of the star's estate. In other words, you can now own, but you can't abuse it since all the other ICANN rules are still in full effect...

Comment #3

Actually Cobain surpassed him by 10 million last year in terms of revenue. Elvis isn't as big as he used to be. Or better yet, Elvis has left the building...

Comment #4

The Cobain thing is rather interesting considering that 4 years prior (2002), he wasn't even on the list. He must be doing some hellish marketing from the grave Actually I think this was a one time fluke which can be attributed to Courtney Love basically selling everything he owned and all the rights to his songs. Elvis is a long term investment.

Anyway, with IP lawyers and millions of dollars in revenue a year on the line, you can rest assured there will be appeals. But as was stated, this is only for that district. Which, if my geography serves correctly, is on the complete opposite side of the country from where the majority of the dead celeb estates rights are held. And I imagine jurisdiction for these cases would fall in CA...

One of these cases will fall in a CA court, wherein the defendant will cite the precedence from the NY ruling. Regardless, the CA court will be under no obligation to accept the NY court's findings and they will rule in favor of the Plaintiff. Then the defendant will file an appeal. One way or another this one will be heard by the Supreme Court or it'll be completely eclipsed by the introduction of Federal legislation. And who has deep pockets and old friends in congress? Hollywood or people looking to profit off of someone else's fame?..

Comment #5

The case was brought against someone who also operates in Hollywood, and by a Hollywood estate representing one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. This is hardly setting the scene for a future Hollywood court laughing at a rule of law set by an obscure East Coast court that has no effect elsewhere.

In additon, said future legal squabbles wouldn't be all of "Hollywood" against one little guy with a T-shirt stand. It would instead be just one estate representing only one dead star, versus millions of merchandise-sellers, both nationally and internationally. And who has the deepest pockets of those two concerns? Those millions of businessmen, of course.

(Where do you think they print all those "Made in China" Edward Hopper-inspired Monroe-Presley-Dean posters? Burbank? Nope.)..

Comment #6

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


Categories: Home | Diet & Weight Management | Vitamins & Supplements | Herbs & Cleansing |

Sexual Health | Medifast Support | Nutrisystem Support | Medifast Questions |

Web Hosting | Web Hosts | Website Hosting | Hosting |

Web Hosting | GoDaddy | Digital Cameras | Best WebHosts |

Web Hosting FAQ | Web Hosts FAQ | Hosting FAQ | Hosting Group |

Hosting Questions | Camera Tips | Best Cameras To Buy | Best Cameras This Year |

Camera Q-A | Digital Cameras Q-A | Camera Forum | Nov 2010 - Cameras |

Oct 2010 - Cameras | Oct 2010 - DSLRs | Oct 2010 - Camera Tips | Sep 2010 - Cameras |

Sep 2010 - DSLRS | Sep 2010 - Camera Tips | Aug 2010 - Cameras | Aug 2010 - DSLR Tips |

Aug 2010 - Camera Tips | July 2010 - Cameras | July 2010 - Nikon Cameras | July 2010 - Canon Cameras |

July 2010 - Pentax Cameras | Medifast Recipes | Medifast Recipes Tips | Medifast Recipes Strategies |

Medifast Recipes Experiences | Medifast Recipes Group | Medifast Recipes Forum | Medifast Support Strategies |

Medifast Support Experiences |


(C) Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.