CyberLife: Social Media, Right-of-Publicity and Consenting to Terms of Service

On July 19, 2017 Executive Managing Partner Daniel Garrie published “CyberLife: Social Media, Right-of-Publicity and Consenting to Terms of Service” in the Legal Executive Institute blog.

The past few years have seen a surge of activity in right-of-publicity litigation related to social media. Cases such as Fraley v. Facebook and Perkins v. LinkedIn addressed social media websites’ unauthorized use of user names and likenesses for commercial purposes and demonstrated how non-celebrities could successfully assert large-scale right-of-publicity claims.

There appears to be little future, however, for similar right-of-publicity claims as websites such as Facebook have amended their terms of service to include consent for commercial uses of names and likenesses. Social media users should therefore be aware of what they consent to by agreeing to these terms – because giving up some control over one’s likeness in commercial use may just be part of the bargain.