The Fame Monster Reloaded: The Contemporary Celebrity, Cultural Studies and Passing Off
26 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2010
The common law jurisdictions of Australia and Singapore often adopt a conservative approach to recognising newproperty rights, particularly with respect to the human persona, but courts frequently take their cue from developments in the United Kingdom. This article revisits the landmark cases in these jurisdictions which, in declaring that a property right in the goodwill of a celebrity may be protected against unlicensed commercial appropriation, use language evocative of the right of publicity. It examines howthe courts have expanded the passing off action to prevent the unauthorised commercial use of the images of well-known personalities. Finally, by adopting a cultural studies analysis that investigates the semiotic nature of the celebrity sign and its influence on contemporary consumption, this article offers a different perspective to the debate on the protection of image rights.
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