Chapter 16

Unfair Competition, Publicity, and Privacy: Filling in the Holes


We have just been through a tutorial on trademarks and copyrights. However, as one radio commentator teases, “now here's the rest of the story.” Copyrights and trademarks are the core issues in content, but you cannot overlook an important legal triad: unfair competition, publicity, and privacy.

The Rules of Unfair Competition

Buried in the Lanham Act, the federal trademark law, is a real surprise, a special provision characterized in simple terms as a national unfair competition law. Section 43(a), as it is known, provides that any misrepresentation in commerce is actionable (susceptible to a lawsuit) by someone who is “aggrieved.” That person can be a consumer or ...

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