In the right of publicity context, Professor Mark Bartholomew has argued that expanded postmortem protections have not been the result of increased concern for the privacy and well-being of decedents' families; instead, these rights have emerged from an increasingly commoditized understanding of celebrity and a "successful political coalition" of "the famous, their heirs, and the licensing companies." (77) A person's "celebrity" value can be quantified, securitized, sold, and assigned; the descendibility of publicity rights is merely one of the sticks in the alienable property interest celebrity has become.
(174) In each of these examples, family members are using the descendibility and exclusive rights of intellectual property to fill in the gaps of defamation and privacy laws to positively shape the memory of the decedent.
543, 569-70 (2014) (arguing SCA prevents descendibility
of social networking accounts upon death); Borden, supra note 29, at 413 (describing SCA Section 2702's "voluntary disclosure provision" as most relevant to inheritance of digital assets).
of copyright interests and, therefore, that copyrighted
("Many jurisdictions have not yet considered the descendibility
[section] 732.603), constitutes a new, coordinated, and more comprehensive default regime covering antilapse and descendibility
issues in both testamentary and non-testamentary contexts.
The bill replaces the existing antilapse statute for inter vivos trusts with a new provision more broadly applicable to the descendibility
of future interests in both testamentary and inter vivos trusts; creates new provision in Ch.
Disagreement still exists with respect to its subject, object, scope, content, duration and remedies.' (98) Three particularly contentious issues that will be examined in detail here are the descendibility of the right, the parameters of the test of 'identity', and the jurisprudential basis of the right.
IV THE DIFFICULT PROPERTY PRIVACY DIVIDE--THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING DESCENDIBILITY
This is brought into focus by debates surrounding the descendibility of the right, that is, whether it can pass to, and so be enforced by, the heirs of a deceased celebrity.
(22.) Felcher & Rubin, The Descendibility
of the Right of Publicity: Is There Commercial Life After Death?, 89 YALE L.
For an article summarizing the publicity rights questions at the time (and particularly the question of descendibility
), see Peter L.