Sunday, July 27, 2003

Kiss-and-tell eliminates rights of publicity and privacy

July 27, 2003
In this newsletter:

Kiss-and-tell eliminates rights of publicity and privacy

22-year old Diana Lynn Daly was caught on tape smooching with a member of Texas rockers Flickerstick, a group featured on VH1's "Bands on the Run" reality show.
Daly had no problem with that. In fact, she herself publicly disclosed the kiss. However, she and the band's drummer were in a bathroom stall, and video of her locking lips was broadcast on the show and still images of same were used in a national advertising campaign.

Embarrassed, Daly sued Viacom, Inc., VH1's parent company, for misappropriation of her right of publicity, invasion of privacy, fraud, and infliction of emotional distress, among other causes of action.

The California District Court judge didn't buy it. Judge Maxine Chesney found that the show is an "expressive work," and as such is protected by the First Amendment. Therefore, Daly could not claim misappropriation of her likeness in the program or in advertisements.

Furthermore, since Daly had publicly disclosed the kiss, she could no longer claim a right of privacy. Ruling that the publicly disclosed act could not be made private again "merely by virtue of the location in which such activity occurs," the judge struck down the privacy claim.

Daly's other claims also failed.

Daly v. Viacom, Inc., 238 F.Supp.2d 1118 (N.D.Cal. 2002)

LAST CALL FOR Hollywood Finance and Distribution symposium, JULY 19–20

On July 19 and 20, I am chairing an event that provides independent filmmakers with the opportunity to learn about finance and distribution opportunities.

The two-day event will cover such topics as international co-productions, subsidies, and production incentives; distribution channels; how soon is too soon to promote or market a film; and the future of film financing. In addition, filmmakers will have the chance to discuss their projects with agents, studio execs and distributors in 30-minute round tables.

Speakers include Rob Aft, Independent Consultant; Jeff Andrick, XL.Ent Media Group; Barry Barnholtz, Barnholtz Entertainment; Craig Baumgarten, MAC Releasing; Craig Bernstein, ICM; Paul Colichman, Regent Entertainment; Michael Dalling, Rogers and Cowan; Joseph Dickstein, Mainline Releasing; Bruce Eisen, Cinema Now; Udy Epstein, Seventh Art Releasing; Erik Feig, Summit Entertainment; Gary Garfinkel, Showtime Networks, Inc.; Marina Grasic, IFG; Judith Jecmen, MGM; Chris Libby, mPRm; Steve Lustgarten, Leo Home Video; Doug Mankoff, Echo Lake Productions; John Manulis, Visionbox Pictures; Sandra J. Ruch, IDA; Morris Ruskin, Shoreline Entertainment; Tony Safford, Fox Searchlight; Art Stribley, Lew Horwitz Organization; and Jared Underwood, Comerica.
The full schedule of events and details can be found at

Mark litwak to Speak AT VSDA in LAS vegas On July 29, Mark will speak about "The Business Side of Filmmaking" during the Video Software Dealers Association Home Entertainment convention held at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.
VSDA has partnered with organizers of the Had To Be Made Film Festival to bring independent filmmakers, distributors and retailers together to promote independent film to the public. This year's Filmmaker Program brings together the nation's leading video retailers, distributors and acquisition professionals to share their ideas and comments. The program is geared to provide networking, learning and sales opportunities.Click here for more info.