v.22 #3 Cases of Note – Copyright: Right to Publicity – SLAPP and Anti-SLAPP

by Bruce Strauch (The Citadel) strauchb@citadel.edu

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Paris Hilton v. Hallmark Cards, United States of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 6104 (2009).

Well. How can one resist a Paris Hilton case? And then when you combine it with Hallmark, the caption itself is worth a million dollars.

Paris Hilton is “famous for being famous.”

This was first applied to Zsa Zsa Gabor the much-married Hungarian. Now it seems to be about everybody on TV.

With Nicole Ritchie, she stars in “The Simple Life,” one of those couch potato “reality” TV shows which are so very much with us. There she undergoes ordeals — like waitressing fast food — for which her spoiled background has her ill-prepared. When amused, she says, “that’s hot,” and is so convinced this is her very essence she has actually registered the phrase as a trademark.

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