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Congrats to famous player in big city

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by FleetFeet, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. FleetFeet

    FleetFeet Member

    Wow. I'm not even sure where to start.


    Casey Close, Jeter's agent, said he won't quibble with a 'congratulations' ad as long as Jeter's name, likeness, uniform number, captain or 3,000 is not included in the chatter or headline.

    "If we have to protect, or if we have to make phone calls, or if we have to send letters, or if we have to do whatever is necessary, we will," he told Tharp.

  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Is your position that Jeter's agents shouldn't protect their client's legal interests against companies that would choose to exploit those rights without his permission?
  3. FleetFeet

    FleetFeet Member

    Might be a newbie question or misreading the USAToday article - I've never covered pro sports - but isn't it at all conceivable that one day sports agents (or similar stakeholders) will target newspapers for the same thing?

    If I have an amateur photographer business (which I don't) and I have a great view of Jeter's 3,000th hit or as he rounds the bases or whatever and snap a nice photo and want to market it ... what's to stop me? Jeter's goons, apparently.

    I think Jeter's expectation of privacy and certain related rights when working in front of 30,000 - 50,000 people each night can and should be called into question. The New York Post can't sell an ad with "congrats Jeter 3000" to a business that has long supported the Yankees and the paper?
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I'm guessing Nike already has something planned and this is to protect that.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    There's case law here telling this guy to get lost. You can't trademark a baseball record, or for that matter, a name. Jeter is a public figure, not intellectual property.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not a lawyer. And I don't have the definitive answer. But Jeter's status as a public figure does not make his image or name fair game for commercial use. Haven't the courts always decided commercial use separately from first amendment issues?
  7. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    There's case law on Jeter's side, too. All Close is doing is saying he'll do whatever is necessary to protect Jeter's right of publicity. Considering this is just a warning and nothing is yet being disputed, I don't know how anyone can determine who's right and who's wrong.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    We have lawyers on the board who can correct me on this, but when it comes to protecting your image, isn't there a principle that if you're ever aware of an unauthorized use and choose not to assert your rights, then you've given up those rights for future cases as well? Seems like I see that interpretation cited quite a bit whenever a mom-and-pop place runs up against a big corporate entity.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Right. But since we are not talking about any real infringement, it becomes a PR issue. And in my opinion, he looks like a giant, money-grubbing douche -- that is the perception when a typical person reads that.

    Has anyone ever actually picked up the phone and sent out warning letters to people warning them in ADVANCE not to infringe their image, because they want to squeeze every nickel out of it themselves?

    It's one thing if someone violates you and you respond. They are warning specific people who haven't done anything.
  10. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Seems like due diligence to me. Isn't it easier to prevent damage than repair damage?
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    No. There is an enormous difference between editorial use and commercial use to sell a product.
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    In the trades I read at my day job, there are an infinite number of special sections which are editorial tributes to Big Shot X of Megamedia Y. These exist to create advertising revenue from the guy's business partners, and oddly, business rivals, buying ads saying "Congratulation Big Shot you wonderful human being you."
    I don't think you can say "congrats Derek, Drink Pepsi!" unless Jeter has a Pepsi deal. But I have to think "Congratulations to Derek from Pepsico," which is not a commercial solicitation, would be OK.
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