Celebrity Disputes

Many might wonder why after Robin Williams’ passing in 2014, they haven’t seen his image associated with marketing or promotional efforts. Sometimes it seems like dead celebrities such as Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe are more ubiquitous commercially than when they were alive.

As part of Williams’ estate planning, he set up a trust that restricts exploitation of his right of publicity for 25 years after his death. That means you won’t see any authorized advertisements with Williams’ image until at least 2039.

It also restricts holograms of his doing a standup comedy routine or computer-generated images of him being inserted into a motion picture or the like. Contrast that with musician Prince whose estate planning didn’t deal with his after-death rights to publicity. His image was used in a hologram for the 2018 Super Bowl half time show, which is something many say he would have never wanted.

With the increasing technological advancements in digital imaging, it is likely that more and more celebrities will be protective of their posthumous rights of publicity.

At Keystone Law Group, our experienced attorneys can help you with various legal matters like Probate, Trusts, Estate Litigation & Administration and more. Call us at 310.444.9060 or click here to learn more.