106 Iowa L. Rev. 411 (2020)
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The right of publicity is an individual’s right to control the commercial use of her identity. Thirty-five states in the United States recognize the right of publicity, either through statute or common law, and provide their citizens with a mechanism to prevent unauthorized uses of their identities. Iowa, however, is one of the 15 states that does not expressly recognize the right of publicity in any form, leaving Iowans uncertain about their intellectual property rights in their identities. Due to the recent emergence of social media and digital manipulation technology, which make it easier than ever for advertisers to commercially exploit an individual’s identity, Iowans are particularly vulnerable to the misappropriation of their identities. Therefore, Iowa’s legislature should join the majority of states and adopt a right of publicity statute to provide Iowans with a mechanism to enforce their rights in their identities. The certainty and protection provided by this neutral right of publicity statute will incentivize Iowans to commercialize their identities—enriching Iowa’s society and, perhaps, its economy.

Sunday, November 15, 2020