Prof. Jennifer Rothman to Launch Right of Publicity Book at Signing & Panel Event Featuring Prominent 1st Amendment Experts

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Professor Jennifer E. Rothman will debut her forthcoming book, “The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World,” during a public launch event featuring a conversation with prominent First Amendment experts from 6:30-9 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 26, 2018 on Loyola’s downtown L.A. campus. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested. 

The highly timely book, due out May 7, 2018 from Harvard University Press, tackles the question of who controls how one’s identity is used by others. This legal question, centuries old, demands greater scrutiny in the Internet Age. Rothman uses the right of publicity, a right often wielded by celebrities, to address the issue not just for the famous but for all of us. The book challenges the conventional story of the right of publicity’s development, and warns of the danger of turning people into intellectual property. This shift has jeopardized control over our own identities, while also limiting free speech, and suppressing artistic works and public commentary. 

Professor Rothman’s talk at the event will be followed by a discussion with a trio of well-known intellectual property and free speech thought leaders: Douglas E. Mirell, partner, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP; Kelli L. Sager, partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; and Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Justin Levitt also of Loyola Law School, who served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama administration. 

The book, “The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World” “has already found early praise among intellectual property experts and First Amendment experts. Jack M. Balkin of Yale Law School describes the book as the “definitive biography of the right of publicity,” a story told “with zest, explaining how we should restructure this right in our fame-obsessed age.” HBO’s senior vice president and chief counsel, litigation Stephanie Abrutyn, writes, “The book is a fascinating read.” that “concisely connects the dots of seemingly irreconcilable decisions while debunking myths about the early case law.”   

Founding editor of the resource website Rothman’s Roadmap to the Right of Publicity and respected Professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Rothman has been a central figure in the high-profile national dialogue over the right of publicity. Recently, she filed an amicus brief and presented oral arguments before the California Court of Appeal in actress Olivia de Havilland’s right of publicity lawsuit against FX network arising out of her objection to the use of a character based on her in the miniseries Feud. In New York, Rothman has been at the forefront of influencing recent state legislative proposals seeking to alter that state’s longstanding right of publicity and privacy laws. 

Upcoming Events:

Rothman will draw on her book as a speaker on the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books panel, “How Tech is Programming Our Future,” to be held at 1:30 p.m. PDT on Sunday, April 22, 2018. [Reserve tickets]

The book launch event, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association, will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Robinson Courtroom on Loyola’s downtown L.A. campus at 919 Albany St., Los Angeles, CA 90015. Learn more at www.lls.edu/rightofpublicity or www.rightofpublicityroadmap.com/.   

Additionally, Rothman will anchor a series of events, including giving the keynote speech at the Yale Law School’s Abrams Institute for Freedom of Speech Commercial Speech and the First Amendment event on June 4, 2018, a Kadish Lecture, on Philosophy & the Law, at U.C. Berkeley to be held on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 and a keynote lecture at Columbia Law School on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.