The right of publicity in the USA, the EU, and Ukraine

Kateryna Moskalenko


The purpose of the research is to compare the regulation of the right of publicity in the USA, the EU and Ukraine and to analyze its legal nature.

Conducted examination allowed to conclude on the following. The right of publicity is one of the emerging rights belonging to celebrities who have gained publicity in certain spheres of show business (singers, actors, artists, writers, etc.), the sports industry, or politics; individuals who have become the victims of crime; and others. American legal doctrine has already developed case law and a legal framework allowing famous persons to freely license and transfer their right of publicity. The countries of the EU have not developed a unique approach regarding the right of publicity, while the Bailiwick of Guernsey has introduced a unique system of protection of the so-called image rights, creating a special register of such rights and allowing protection of moral and patrimonial rights to one׳s image, which is broadly defined.

The right of publicity is distinguished from trademarks and copyright; an analysis of their legal nature shows that these objects are not identical.

Current Ukrainian legislation provides for protection of one`s name and image, however the emerging market of show business in Ukraine makes it obvious that the right of publicity shall be introduced into Ukrainian Civil Code. A new right in Ukraine can be based on the example of the American model (i.e. on relevant provisions of the California Civil Code).


Right of publicity; Personality rights; Entertainment law; Show business; Image rights.

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