Can a music artist use a live celebrity’s name in an album title?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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Can a music artist use a live celebrity’s name in an album title?

Asked on July 27, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A music artist can use a live celebrity's name in an album title of the artist. However, the likely result would be a lawsuit for an injunction and for damages for the use of the celebrity's name for a business venture for profit unless express written permission from the celebrity is given.

The claim would be misappropriation of an asset by the celebrity, namely his or her name. If the celebrity was deceased, you could most likely use his or her name without having to worry about a lawsuit.

The only concern would be that the name of the deceased celebrity in and of itself as a name is not a registered trade or service mark.

Good question.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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