Monday, May 14, 2007

The Monroe Case: The View from Indiana

CMG Worldwide Inc., which came out on the losing end in the Marilyn Monroe case discussed here last week, is headquartered in Indiana, primarily, one assumes, because of its 100-year-long postmortem right of publicity, and this weekend the Indianapolis Business Journal took a look at the decision. The bottom line:

"[CMG] represents about 250 famous people, most of them dead, including James Dean, Babe Ruth and Buddy Holly. Monroe, one of its highest-grossing clients, has raked in more than $30 million in licensing fees in the last dozen years for everything from TV commercials to T-shirts—with roughly 25 percent of that windfall landing in CMG coffers. But that spigot of cash could slow to a drip if a higher court upholds a ruling early this month by a federal judge in New York, and if a series of similar lawsuits nationwide result in additional setbacks for CMG."