Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Who Owns The Right To OJ Simpson?
This is a lengthy and dry but fascinating article about OJ Simpson. He owes $33 million to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman for their murder. They're having trouble collecting and are now filing suit to gain control over the rights to OJ's name and likeness. In other words, if OJ wanted to be paid for a personal appearance, he'd have to get their permission and (presumably) give them a big chunk of the money he made. If he wanted to go sign autographs at a convention for a fee, again, OJ would have to get their permission and they would have the rights to much if not all of the income so they could collect on their debt. Apparently, a celebrity's rights to their name and likeness have been considered assets during divorce proceedings and other legal times, so there's a serious precedent. OJ says if he loses he simply won't do any of that work. But is there ANYTHING he could do that wouldn't constitute trading on his name and likeness? I doubt it.