Ill. Right To Publicity Class Actions May Extend Cos.' Liability

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By Ana Tagvoryan, Harrison Brown and Nicole Wentworth (November 12, 2021, 4:17 PM EST) — Businesses that obtain or use consumer data should be aware of a new trend in class action litigation.

Plaintiffs are increasingly filing class actions under the Illinois Right to Publicity Act[1] based on a novel theory: Companies that sell access to searchable online consumer databases are engaged in commercial use of an individual’s identity under the IRPA.

Generally, businesses violate the IRPA when they use the name, likeness, distinctive voice, style, role, nickname or signature of an individual without his or her consent in advertisements or for other commercial purposes, such as using a person’s picture on product packaging and using…

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