Enjoy watching partner Kenneth Trujillo-Jamison’s two-minute video on a recent opinion out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that involves copyright preemption of state right-of-publicity claims.
In Melendez v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., the Second Circuit applied its two-part test for determining whether a right-of-publicity claim under state law is preempted under the Copyright Act. At step one, the Second Circuit looked to see whether Mr. Melendez’s claims apply to a copyrightable work. The Second Circuit concluded that they did, because they applied to archival episodes of The Howard Stern Show featuring Mr. Melendez.
At step two, the Second Circuit looked to see whether Mr. Melendez sought to vindicate rights that were the exclusive right of the copyright holder. The Court concluded that he did, because his claims effectively sought to block the reproduction of the copyrightable episodes. The Second Circuit therefore affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Mr. Melendez’s right-of-publicity claims.
Click here to watch the video.