What if Boston bombing suspect tries to sell life story?

KWIKA founding/managing partner Larry Iser was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter in Eriq Gardner’s piece that wonders if the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect could profit from a film made about his life.

The issue seems to boil down to the right of publicity versus the First Amendment.  The right of publicity, in states where it exists (including Massachusetts), prevents unauthorized commercial use of a person’s name or likeness.  On the other hand, the free-speech guarantees of the First Amendment support the rights of filmmakers to chronicle important events, even going so far as to push a right of publicity to the rear.

“The right of publicity gives way to the First Amendment,” said Larry.  “A film is a significant medium for the communication of ideas and events, and is therefore highly protected by the constitutional guarantees of free expression.  It follows that the filmmaker has broad rights to depict this tragic and historic event, and the people who are part of it.”

Read the Full Article, including Larry’s comments in paragraph 9.