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The Case of the Copied Curly

Portrait of the Three StoogesIs all “art” protected by the First Amendment, or are there instances where it is subject to the right of publicity? In Comedy III Productions v. Saderup, the court examined that issue pitting an artist against The Three Stooges.

Brothers Jerome “Curly” Howard and Moe Howard teamed up with Larry Fein to form The Three Stooges. Together they acted in over 100 films.

Gary Saderup is an artist specializing in the creation of charcoal drawings of celebrities. His subjects have included Lucile Ball, Humphrey…

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  • Privacy
  • Jul 23, 2014

The Human Cannonball Lands in the Supreme Court

Hugo Zacchini, human cannonballHugo Zacchini, widely credited as being the first human cannonball, took his act to the highest court of the land. Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting is the first and only case decided by the United States Supreme Court that deals with the right of publicity.

The story begins with Hugo’s father, Ildebrando Zacchini. Ildebrando had a circus (the Zacchini Family Circus) that toured the world. Lidebrand also invented a compressed air cannon that could be used to launch humans. Hugo and his father originated the human cannonball…

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  • First Amendment , Privacy , Privacy - Right of Publicity
  • Jul 16, 2014

The Right of Publicity and the First Amendment


Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.  

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  • Privacy , Privacy - Right of Publicity , Video
  • Jun 24, 2014

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