{"ab":false,"abStatus":null,"abTestId":null,"abVariation":false,"abVariationAutomated":false,"absoluteUrl":"https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/how-can-you-make-a-film-like-the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-2","afterPostBody":null,"allowedSlugConflict":false,"analytics":null,"analyticsPageId":"3019350565","analyticsPageType":"blog-post","approvalStatus":null,"archived":false,"archivedAt":0,"archivedInDashboard":false,"areCommentsAllowed":true,"attachedStylesheets":[],"audienceAccess":"PUBLIC","author":null,"authorName":null,"authorUsername":null,"blogAuthor":{"avatar":"","bio":"","cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"cosObjectType":"BLOG_AUTHOR","created":1435092071507,"deletedAt":0,"displayName":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","email":"","facebook":"","fullName":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","gravatarUrl":null,"hasSocialProfiles":false,"id":3035893120,"label":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","language":"en","linkedin":"","name":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","portalId":61352,"slug":"jeff-young-and-tarek-elneweihi","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"twitter":"","twitterUsername":"","updated":1666901741467,"userId":null,"username":null,"website":""},"blogAuthorId":3035893120,"blogPostAuthor":{"avatar":"","bio":"","cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"cosObjectType":"BLOG_AUTHOR","created":1435092071507,"deletedAt":0,"displayName":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","email":"","facebook":"","fullName":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","gravatarUrl":null,"hasSocialProfiles":false,"id":3035893120,"label":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","language":"en","linkedin":"","name":"Jeff Young and Tarek Elneweihi","portalId":61352,"slug":"jeff-young-and-tarek-elneweihi","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"twitter":"","twitterUsername":"","updated":1666901741467,"userId":null,"username":null,"website":""},"blogPostScheduleTaskUid":null,"blogPublishInstantEmailCampaignId":null,"blogPublishInstantEmailRetryCount":null,"blogPublishInstantEmailTaskUid":"DONE","blogPublishToSocialMediaTask":"DONE_NOT_SENT","blueprintTypeId":0,"businessUnitId":null,"campaign":"","campaignName":"","campaignUtm":null,"category":3,"categoryId":3,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"clonedFrom":null,"composeBody":null,"compositionId":0,"contentAccessRuleIds":[],"contentAccessRuleTypes":[],"contentGroup":952267656,"contentGroupId":952267656,"contentTypeCategory":3,"contentTypeCategoryId":3,"contentTypeId":null,"created":1434753879000,"createdById":313859,"createdTime":1434753879000,"crmObjectId":null,"css":{},"cssText":"","ctaClicks":null,"ctaViews":null,"currentState":"PUBLISHED","currentlyPublished":true,"deletedAt":0,"deletedBy":null,"domain":"","dynamicPageDataSourceId":null,"dynamicPageDataSourceType":null,"dynamicPageHubDbTableId":null,"enableDomainStylesheets":null,"enableGoogleAmpOutputOverride":false,"enableLayoutStylesheets":null,"errors":[],"featuredImage":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","featuredImageAltText":"Social Network Founder: Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission","featuredImageHeight":400,"featuredImageLength":0,"featuredImageWidth":600,"flexAreas":{},"folderId":null,"footerHtml":null,"freezeDate":1435250132000,"generateJsonLdEnabledOverride":true,"hasContentAccessRules":false,"hasUserChanges":true,"headHtml":null,"header":null,"htmlTitle":"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)","id":3019350565,"includeDefaultCustomCss":null,"isCaptchaRequired":true,"isDraft":false,"isInstantEmailEnabled":true,"isPublished":true,"isSocialPublishingEnabled":false,"keywords":[],"label":"<span id=\"hs_cos_wrapper_name\" class=\"hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text\" style=\"\" data-hs-cos-general-type=\"meta_field\" data-hs-cos-type=\"text\" >The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)</span>","language":"en","lastEditSessionId":null,"lastEditUpdateId":null,"layoutSections":{},"legacyBlogTabid":null,"legacyId":null,"legacyPostGuid":null,"linkRelCanonicalUrl":"","listTemplate":"prox_frontrow/templates/blog/blog-listing.html","liveDomain":"www.frontrowinsurance.com","mab":false,"mabExperimentId":null,"mabMaster":false,"mabVariant":false,"meta":{"meta_description":"Part 2: Planning on making a film about another person but not sure whether you have the proper authority to go through with it?","author_username":"nedia@frontrowinsurance.com","blog_publish_instant_email_task_uid":"DONE","use_featured_image":true,"topic_ids":[949708924,949709454,2961176071,3018617752,3023994434],"author_user_id":4012692,"rss_summary":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n","featured_image":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","keywords":[],"campaign_name":"","post_summary":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n","has_user_changes":true,"html_title":"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)","post_body":"<span id=\"hs_cos_wrapper_post_body\" class=\"hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_rich_text\" style=\"\" data-hs-cos-general-type=\"meta_field\" data-hs-cos-type=\"rich_text\" ><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a <a href=\"/articles/invasion-of-privacy-and-false-light\" rel=\"noopener\">false light</a>.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p></span>","publish_immediately":true,"author_email":"nedia@frontrowinsurance.com","rss_body":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a <a href=\"/articles/invasion-of-privacy-and-false-light\" rel=\"noopener\">false light</a>.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p>","placement_guids":[],"campaign_utm":null,"css":{},"featured_image_alt_text":"Social Network Founder: Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission","enable_google_amp_output_override":false,"css_text":"","last_edit_session_id":null,"last_edit_update_id":null,"tag_ids":[949708924,949709454,2961176071,3018617752,3023994434],"link_rel_canonical_url":"","published_by_id":7915797,"published_at":1666899433142,"blog_publish_to_social_media_task":"DONE_NOT_SENT","layout_sections":{},"head_html":null,"scheduled_update_date":0,"public_access_rules_enabled":false,"public_access_rules":[],"blog_post_schedule_task_uid":null,"featured_image_height":400,"featured_image_width":600,"header":null},"metaDescription":"Part 2: Planning on making a film about another person but not sure whether you have the proper authority to go through with it?","metaKeywords":null,"name":"<span id=\"hs_cos_wrapper_name\" class=\"hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text\" style=\"\" data-hs-cos-general-type=\"meta_field\" data-hs-cos-type=\"text\" >The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)</span>","nextPostFeaturedImage":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","nextPostFeaturedImageAltText":"Social Network Founder: Making a Bio Pic without Permission","nextPostName":"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic without Getting Permission","nextPostSlug":"articles/how-can-you-make-a-film-like-the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg","pageExpiryDate":null,"pageExpiryEnabled":null,"pageExpiryRedirectId":null,"pageExpiryRedirectUrl":null,"pageRedirected":false,"pageTitle":"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)","parentBlog":{"absoluteUrl":"https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles","allowComments":true,"ampBodyColor":"#404040","ampBodyFont":"'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif","ampBodyFontSize":"18","ampCustomCss":"","ampHeaderBackgroundColor":"#ffffff","ampHeaderColor":"#1e1e1e","ampHeaderFont":"'Helvetica Neue', 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Front Row Insurance Blog where you can learn and converse about all things entertainment insurance related.","domain":"","domainWhenPublished":"www.frontrowinsurance.com","emailApiSubscriptionId":283237,"enableGoogleAmpOutput":true,"enableSocialAutoPublishing":false,"generateJsonLdEnabled":false,"header":null,"htmlFooter":"<!-- DELTA-->","htmlFooterIsShared":false,"htmlHead":"<!-- Blog Schema by Front Row Insurance // https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/ -->\n\n<script type=\"application/ld+json\">\n {\n \"@context\": \"http://schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"BlogPosting\",\n \"mainEntityOfPage\":{\n \"@type\":\"WebPage\",\n \"@id\":\"https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/how-can-you-make-a-film-like-the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-2\"\n },\n \"headline\": \"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)\",\n \"image\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": 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Front Row View (entertainment insurance blog)","publicAccessRules":[{"ids":[],"type":"LIST_MEMBERSHIP"}],"publicAccessRulesEnabled":false,"slug":"fr/blogue"}},"updated":1650089754719,"updatedDateTime":1650089754719,"urlBase":"www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles","urlSegments":{},"useFeaturedImageInSummary":true,"usesDefaultTemplate":false,"weeklyNotificationEmailId":"952268106"},"password":null,"pastMabExperimentIds":[],"performableGuid":"","performableVariationLetter":null,"personas":[],"placementGuids":[],"portableKey":null,"portalId":61352,"position":null,"postBody":"<span id=\"hs_cos_wrapper_post_body\" class=\"hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_rich_text\" style=\"\" data-hs-cos-general-type=\"meta_field\" data-hs-cos-type=\"rich_text\" ><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a <a href=\"/articles/invasion-of-privacy-and-false-light\" rel=\"noopener\">false light</a>.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p></span>","postBodyRss":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a <a href=\"/articles/invasion-of-privacy-and-false-light\" rel=\"noopener\">false light</a>.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p>","postEmailContent":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span></span></span></p>","postFeaturedImageIfEnabled":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","postListContent":"<span id=\"hs_cos_wrapper_post_body\" class=\"hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_rich_text\" style=\"\" data-hs-cos-general-type=\"meta_field\" data-hs-cos-type=\"rich_text\" ><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a <a href=\"/articles/invasion-of-privacy-and-false-light\" rel=\"noopener\">false light</a>.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p></span>","postListSummaryFeaturedImage":"","postRssContent":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span></span></span></p>","postRssSummaryFeaturedImage":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","postSummary":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n","postSummaryRss":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span></span></span></p>","postTemplate":"prox_frontrow/templates/blog/blog-post.html","previewImageSrc":null,"previewKey":"qza0fskB","previousPostFeaturedImage":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","previousPostFeaturedImageAltText":"Social Network Founder: Making a Bio Pic without Permission","previousPostName":"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 3)","previousPostSlug":"articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3","processingStatus":"PUBLISHED","propertyForDynamicPageCanonicalUrl":null,"propertyForDynamicPageFeaturedImage":null,"propertyForDynamicPageMetaDescription":null,"propertyForDynamicPageSlug":null,"propertyForDynamicPageTitle":null,"publicAccessRules":[{"ids":[],"type":"LIST_MEMBERSHIP"}],"publicAccessRulesEnabled":false,"publishDate":1435250132000,"publishDateLocalTime":1435250132000,"publishDateLocalized":{"date":1435250132000,"format":"medium","language":"en_US"},"publishImmediately":true,"publishTimezoneOffset":null,"publishedAt":1666899433142,"publishedByEmail":null,"publishedById":7915797,"publishedByName":null,"publishedUrl":"https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/how-can-you-make-a-film-like-the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-2","resolvedDomain":"www.frontrowinsurance.com","resolvedLanguage":null,"rssBody":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a <a href=\"/articles/invasion-of-privacy-and-false-light\" rel=\"noopener\">false light</a>.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p>","rssSummary":"<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n","rssSummaryFeaturedImage":"https://61352.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/61352/images/eando/social-network-founder-shutterstock_2066914112-forweb600.jpg","scheduledUpdateDate":0,"screenshotPreviewTakenAt":1666899433421,"screenshotPreviewUrl":"https://cdn1.hubspot.net/hubshotv3/prod/e/0/8d259a56-3697-4ae2-b0ce-a06b23052eb2.png","sections":{},"securityState":"NONE","siteId":0,"slug":"articles/how-can-you-make-a-film-like-the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-2","stagedFrom":null,"state":"PUBLISHED","stateWhenDeleted":null,"styleOverrideId":null,"subcategory":"normal_blog_post","syncedWithBlogRoot":true,"tagIds":[949708924,949709454,2961176071,3018617752,3023994434],"tagList":[{"categoryId":0,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"contentIds":[],"cosObjectType":"TAG","created":1401901730000,"deletedAt":0,"description":"","id":949708924,"label":"Film producer's E&O insurance","language":"en","name":"Film 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2)","tmsId":null,"topicIds":[949708924,949709454,2961176071,3018617752,3023994434],"topicList":[{"categoryId":0,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"contentIds":[],"cosObjectType":"TAG","created":1401901730000,"deletedAt":0,"description":"","id":949708924,"label":"Film producer's E&O insurance","language":"en","name":"Film producer's E&O insurance","portalId":61352,"slug":"film-producers-eo-insurance","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"updated":1666892193369},{"categoryId":0,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"contentIds":[],"cosObjectType":"TAG","created":1401901780000,"deletedAt":0,"description":"","id":949709454,"label":"Documentary insurance","language":"en","name":"Documentary insurance","portalId":61352,"slug":"documentary-insurance","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"updated":1666900051088},{"categoryId":0,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"contentIds":[],"cosObjectType":"TAG","created":1434565727000,"deletedAt":0,"description":"","id":2961176071,"label":"Altman & Company","language":"en","name":"Altman & Company","portalId":61352,"slug":"altman-company","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"updated":1666899863346},{"categoryId":0,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"contentIds":[],"cosObjectType":"TAG","created":1435181044000,"deletedAt":0,"description":"","id":3018617752,"label":"Rights of privacy and publicity","language":"en","name":"Rights of privacy and publicity","portalId":61352,"slug":"rights-of-privacy-and-publicity","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"updated":1666891321434},{"categoryId":0,"cdnPurgeEmbargoTime":null,"contentIds":[],"cosObjectType":"TAG","created":1435181084000,"deletedAt":0,"description":"","id":3023994434,"label":"Defamation insurance","language":"en","name":"Defamation insurance","portalId":61352,"slug":"defamation-insurance","translatedFromId":null,"translations":{},"updated":1666900037237}],"topicNames":["Film producer's E&O insurance","Documentary insurance","Altman & Company","Rights of privacy and 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Categories","name":"menu_header_sector_categories","smart_objects":[],"smart_type":null,"type":"menu"},"module_156398965931111":{"body":{"definition_id":null,"module_id":8696351,"path":"/Marketplace/HubSpot/Team_Member/Team Member","per_widget_wrapper_html":"","smart_objects":null,"smart_type":"NOT_SMART","tag":"module","type":"module","widget_name":"Team Member","wrapping_html":""},"child_css":{},"css":{},"deleted_at":1649435844603,"id":"module_156398965931111","label":"Team Member","module_id":8696351,"name":"module_156398965931111","order":9,"smart_type":null,"styles":{},"type":"module"},"name":{"body":{"title":"The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)"},"id":"name","label":"Title","name":"name","type":"text"},"post_body":{"body":{"html":"<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Rights of Publicity</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<!--more--><span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"color: #1c1c1c; font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica;\">The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. </span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). </em>The facts of<em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"> Ruffin-Steinback</em> involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt 36pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency.</span> The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”</span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 36pt; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\">Defamation</span></span><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"></span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">The tort of defamation</span></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. <strong><span style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Double sourcing</span></strong> simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Truth:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Opinion:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact. </span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\"><strong><em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif'; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;\">Humor/Parody/Satire:</span></em></strong><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"> Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">It is likely that the makers of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">The Social Network </em>utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><strong style=\"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?</span></span></span></span></strong></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"articletext\" style=\"margin: 1em 0cm; text-align: justify; -ms-text-justify: inter-ideograph;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?</span></span></span></p>\n<span style=\"color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: medium;\" face=\"Times New Roman\" color=\"#000000\" size=\"3\"> </span>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\" style=\"margin: 12pt 0cm 10pt;\"><span lang=\"EN-US\" style=\"font-family: 'Candara','sans-serif';\"><span style=\"font-size: medium;\" size=\"3\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\" color=\"#000000\">Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994</em>, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the <em style=\"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;\">Lanham Act</em> by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a false light.</span></span></span></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Page 2 of 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/articles/the-social-network-without-getting-permission-from-mark-zuckerberg-part-3\">Next Page</a></p>\n<h3>RELATED LINK:</h3>\n<p><a href=\"/errors-omissions-insurance-101\" rel=\" noopener\">E&amp;O Insurance 101 &amp; How to Protect Your Film Project</a></p>"},"deleted_at":1605637290709,"id":"post_body","label":"Blog Content","name":"post_body","type":"rich_text"}}}

The Delicate Art of Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission (Part 2)

Social Network Founder: Making a Bio Pic w/o Getting Permission

Rights of Publicity

The Right of Publicity is both a statutory and a common law right to limit the public use of one's name, likeness and/or identity, particularly for commercial purposes. As opposed to the Right of Privacy, the Right of Publicity survives death. The applicable law is based on the person’s domicile when living, or where they were domiciled on the date of death.

The leading U.S. case on the issue of the Right of Publicity is Ruffin-Steinback v. Depasse 82 F.Supp.2d 723 (2000). The facts of Ruffin-Steinback involved NBC airing a four-hour mini-series depicting the musical group the Temptations as recounted in a novel written by Otis Williams, a founding member of the legendary recording group. No one other than Williams gave permission to the producers of the mini-series and so the other members of the group sued the producers. On appeal, the court ruled that the term ‘likeness’ (as relating to the Right of Publicity) does not include general incidents from a person’s life, especially when fictionalized. The narrative of an individual’s life, standing alone, lacks the value of a name or likeness that the tort requires. The court specifically held that:

“We agree with the district court that assuming each of the inaccuracies described in plaintiffs’ complaints and submissions is inaccurate in the manner described by plaintiffs, defendants’ actions in producing the story written by Otis Williams about the Temptations cannot be considered so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency. The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on these claims.”

The court in essence upheld the earlier ruling that depicting one’s life-story without his or her permission does not constitute a violation of the Right of Publicity, barring any depictions that are “so extreme in degree as to go beyond all bounds of decency”.

Defamation

The tort of defamation involves the publication of anything false which is injurious to the reputation of another or which tends to bring them disrepute. As a filmmaker you should avoid doing this unless you can confidently claim one of the defenses set forth below.

If you are offering your film as truthful, you want to have “double sourcing” on everything. Double sourcing simply means that you have two separate and independent sources for each factual assertion in your script. This is especially important for anything that might offend anyone, but especially the subject of the remark or representation. The second source should be truly independent of the first source. For instance, two different newspaper articles written from the same press conference or press release is not really a double source. The same fact verified by a second person not at the press conference would be a double source.

There are a number of common defenses to a suit for defamation. However, none of them is as good as never getting sued in the first place. Be extra careful when you make statements about individuals who are living and identifiable. The defenses to a defamation claim are:

Truth: This is the classic defense. Everybody seems to know that truth is a defense. Even if a statement is not completely true, you should win with a public figure if you have checked the facts out and you have a reasonable basis for believing they are true. Unfortunately for you, reasonable people may differ on what amounts to a reasonable basis for believing anything. Check the facts carefully. Double source any dubious or inflammatory claims.

Opinion: Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. If you are stating an opinion, make it very clear that it is an opinion. “Jack is a thief” is libelous. “I don't like Jack’s performance” is an opinion. This can be tricky. The courts don't let you off the hook with merely a perfunctory statement such as “It is my opinion that . . .” and then go on with a string of libelous statements. It must be clear to the reasonable listener that the statement is an opinion, not a fact.

Humor/Parody/Satire: Humor is a defense because, if everyone hears a comment as a joke, you have not damaged the reputation of whatever or whoever is the butt of your joke. However, there is a big difference between something that draws laughs or chuckles from most listeners and something that insults someone. Be careful of the latter.

It is likely that the makers of The Social Network utilized the double-sourcing method when finding the facts used to base the film’s script on. Regardless, they evidently did not include any events or statements in the movie that could give rise to a defamation claim and it is safe to say that it was by no accident. When you produce your docudrama you should use extra care not to utilize your artistic license so far as to portray inaccurate events or statements that could be injurious to the reputation of the film’s subject or which tends to bring them into disrepute.

Can You Use The Name Of Your Film’s Subject In The Title Of The Project?

So far we have discussed what to do or not to do with regards to creating the content of your film, but what about the film’s title? Can you use your film’s subject’s name in the film’s title?

Let us look at another well-known U.S. case. The case of Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994, involved a lawsuit started by Ginger Rogers over the use of the title “Ginger and Fred” for a fictional movie that only obliquely relates to Rogers and Astaire. Rogers argued that the defendants violated the Lanham Act by creating the false impression that the film was about her or that she sponsored, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the film, violated her common law right of publicity, and defamed her and violated her right to privacy by depicting her in a false light.

 

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E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

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