Gifts To Celebrities Present Entertainment Law Issues

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

Celebrity endorsements can be very lucrative deals for Florida entertainers and athletes. However, when companies try to promote their product or their organization by using a celebrity’s prestige without authorization, those celebrities may experience negative impacts on their careers. Many cases in entertainment law involve the unlawful use of a celebrity’s image by companies who seek to make gains at the unknowing celebrity’s expense.

Movie star Halle Berry is suing a company known as Toywatch S.p.A. for allegedly using her image and name, without her permission, to market and sell watches. Berry claims that Toywatch’s acts have violated both her privacy and trademark rights. It is rumored that Toywatch’s defense is that the company and Berry have what is known as a barter agreement by which the company gives Berry free products in exchange for use of her persona for advertisement and sales. Berry’s representatives deny the existence of such an agreement and claim that Berry accepts such products simply as gifts and often does not even keep the items. Additionally, her attorneys urge that Berry’s acceptance of gifts in no way indicates her consent for Toywatch to use her image or name.

Celebrity endorsement deals often require licensing contracts between the entertainer and the company seeking to use the entertainer’s image or persona. Unlicensed use of a celebrity’s likeness to advertise a product may raise legal issues of privacy, among other concerns. In addition, absent an endorsement deal, entertainers and athletes may find their image being used for a product or initiative that the celebrity does not support. This was an issue raised in Berry’s case because the star claims she never consents to endorsement of a company or product unless she supports the product.

Being associated with ads that are inconsistent with a celebrity’s principles or goals can have a major impact on the celebrity’s career. In addition, the unauthorized use of a celebrity’s persona is a lost opportunity for that individual to earn money. For these reasons, protecting entertainer’s rights to their own image is essential. If an unauthorized use is discovered, Florida attorneys experienced in entertainment law can help celebrities take necessary steps to minimize damage, protect rights and remedy any damage caused.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Halle Berry Lawsuit: Any Such Thing as a Free Celebrity Gift,” Eriq Gardner, June 26, 2014

Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

Comments are closed.

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!