Unwrapping the protection for celebrities in passing off

Onishi, Hiroko (2021) Unwrapping the protection for celebrities in passing off. In: 36th Annual British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association (BILETA) Conference 2021 : Taken by Surprise : (Re-)constituting the Critical in an Age of Digital and Pandemic; 14-16 Apr 2021, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. (Held Online). (Unpublished)


The author argues that providing the adequate protection for the ‘statue’ of celebrities has become significant based on the following grounds: (i) the commercial and marketing values of celebrities’ names, images, fame and likeness have played an integral part of business; (ii) means, in which the commercial attractiveness attached to ‘celebrities’ can be misappropriated, has dramatically increased as a result of as a result of technological advancement; (iii) platforms that can help achieving the ‘status’ of ‘celebrities' has also drastically increased and diversified as a result of the rapid expansion of the fast growing video-sharing social networking sites, such as YouTube and Tiktok and the photo and video-sharing social networking sites such as Instagram. The paper argues that in current times misappropriation can be very easily achieved and a likelihood of non-celebrities obtaining the ‘status’ of ‘celebrity’ has tremendously increased, it is time for us to revisit how law can provide the appropriate protection for ‘celebrities’ in both traditional and non-traditional senses when their status has been misappropriated by a third party.

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