Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jazz hands: today's right of publicity question

Among our kids' Hanukah gifts this year were books from this series starring Duck Ellington (who inexplicably raps), also featuring Charlie Bird (plays sax), Ella the Elephant (she scats), Miles the Crocodile, Mingus Mouse, Louis Lion, and Philly Joe Giraffe (drums). Under what theories would you defend the publisher from right of publicity claims by (the estates of) the jazz greats referenced? Under White, at least, there's absolutely no reason that use of the entire name is required; in a jazz context, these first names and associated instruments clearly evoke certain identities. Artistic relevance?

No comments: