10 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/jointpro10 and id is 1 raw text is: Copyright © 2010, Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property
EXTENDING TORT LIABILITY TO CREATORS OF FAKE
PROFILES ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Bradley Kay
Abstract
In today's world, social media has become ubiquitous. While social media provides
opportunities for networking, there are also opportunities for exploitation. Courts and
legislatures have provided remedies for some wrongs that can occur on social networking
websites. However one area remains neglected- false profiles made for real people.
In present day tort law, using another person's name or likeness can open the offender to
liability for either misappropriation of name or likeness or a violation of right of publicity. This
Note argues that these causes of action should be extended to false profiles made on social
networking websites. This Note begins by discussing the two causes of action, how they are
applied to actions over the Internet, how courts should apply the actions to false profiles, and
possible defenses to the causes of action.
Table of Contents
Introduction...........................................................2
I.   Background.......................................................4
A.    What are SNSs?..................................................4
B.    What law should be applied? .......................             ..................5
C.    What is Misappropriation of Name or Likeness?............................6
1.    Use of Plaintiffs Identity.........................................6
2.    Use must be for defendant's advantage................................7
3.    Lack of Consent................................................ 8
4.    Resulting Injury................................................ 9
D.    What is the Right of Publicity....................................... 10
1.    Validity..................................................... 11
2.    Infringement................................................. 11
3.    Damages.................................................... 12
E.    How are the Misappropriation and Right of Publicity Claims Distinguished ...... 13
F.    How has traditional tort law been adapted to torts committed over the Internet?......... 13
G.    What Defenses to the Misappropriation and Right of Publicity Causes of Action Exist?
15
1.    The First Amendment and Free Speech         .......................... ..... 15
2.    Creative Works..........................................               ...... 16
3.    Social Commentary, Criticism, and Parody      .......................  ..... 16
II.  Analysis ............................................................................................. 17
A.    How should a court apply the two causes of action to the problem isting ?.............. 18
1.    Clearly Fake Profile.......................................           ...... 18
Bradley D. Kay is a third year law student at the University of Georgia School of Law. Kay received his
undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia.

10 Chi.-Kent J. Intell. Prop. 1

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