San Diego International Law Journal


Emily Grant

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article proceeds from the assumption that the claims just hypothesized ought to be universally recognized to entitle a celebrity to an action for infringement of his or her right of publicity. It surveys the possibilities for protection of the right of publicity under current international intellectual property law. First, it briefly describes the American right of publicity doctrine as well as the policy shortcomings of the American doctrine and points out the lack of explicit protection for the right in other countries. It next explores the foundations of the right of publicity through a triptych of doctrines - including trademark law, hinged together with copyright and moral rights law. Analysis under each of these doctrines quickly illuminates the shortcomings in the current international protections of the right of publicity. As a result, this article urges the international community to create a right of publicity treaty so that the subject receives treatment as one solid doctrine by which other countries can begin to develop sound rights for the celebrity persona that are based on economic and social justifications.