3L: FALL ADVANCED TORTS-- Invasion of Privacy

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  1. 4 theories of invasion of privacy... which ones NC recognize?
    Four distinct/separate theories of invasion of privacy:

    • §  Appropriation of a person’s personality (name, likeness, or identity) for commercial use
    •            Right of publicity 

    §  Unreasonable Intrusion upon plaintiff’s seclusion/(confidential affairs)  

    §  Unreasonable public disclosure of private facts

    §  Unreasonably placing plaintiff in a false light (highly offensive to a reasonable person)

    NC recognize appropriation and intrusion upon seclusion
  2. 4 theory defintiions and general case... just as review 
    Appropriation: appropriation of P’s identity for commercial gain without consent

    Ø  Hinish – letter to governor with forged signature  J         NOTE: could have also been a FL COA

    Ø  Minnifield— tattoo photo submitted to photo  J

    • Ø  O’Brien v. Pabst—beer calendar of famous football player with purchased photo
    • L

    Right of Publicity: appropriation of P celebrity’s identity for commercial gain without consent

    • Ø  Carson –Right of publicity invaded b/c identity appropriated for
    • commercial purposes (no likelihood of confusion or invasion of privacy)  J

    Ø  Memphis Dev. Foundation – right of publicity after deathà Jurisdictional split: CA/NY  L


    Intrusion: unreasonable and serious intrusion into P’s solitude/private affairs in a manner seriously offensive to reasonable person

    • Ø  Nader – car co. revenge for book; unauthorized wiretapping and
    • public observation during certain circumstance J

    • Ø  Werbin—Proof of homosexuality via stolen hair; no wrongful intrusion
    • b/c discarded property  L

    • Ø  Med. Lab. V. ABC --  no reasonable expectation
    • of privacy b/c external communications J

    • Public Disclosure: Publicizing true, private facts of P without legitimate public interest, in a manner that is highly offensive to reasonable person

    Ø  Meetze v. AP—12 year old mom; no COA b/c legitimate public interest L

    • Ø  Gilbert—malpractice article; legitimate public interest & name of
    • Dr. support assertions L

    • Ø  Florida Star – Rape victim name published; legally obtained truthful info of
    • public interest absent higher state interest L

    Ø  Diaz—sex change; Not info. of legitimate public interest  J 

    • Ø  Norris—thief poster; no public interest… rather personal
    • motivation  J

    • Ø  Swinton Creek Nursery—must publicize or communication certain to
    • become publicized  L

    • False Light: Publicizing false facts that place P before the public in a false light in a manner highly offensive to a reasonable person.

    • Ø  Leverton—pedestrian safety article; original publication privileged
    • b/c public interest but lost when published with unrelated news story  J

    • Ø  Guns of Autumn case—false portrayal and P and D knew falsity and acted
    • reckless  J

    • Ø  Cain – prisoner case à court not recognize FL…
    • know distinction of publicity and publication 
  3. Definition and Elements for Appropriation 
    • An invasion of privacy whereby D appropriates P’s name, likeness, or identity for commercial gain without consent.
    • i.     Elements:

    • a.     D’s use of P’s identity (name, likeness, identity)
    • b.     Without consent
    • c.     For commercial advantage; financial incentive
    • d.    Resulting in P’s injury

    • 1.     Damages
    • private person> mainly psychological interest
    • (humiliation/embarrassment/anguish)

    • i.     Jurisdictional Split: Courts are split on whether a private person must prove a preexisting commercial value to
    • his/her name before bringing a claim of appropriation.

    • 2.     NOTE: If the plaintiff can show malice,
    • punitive damages may be awarded

  4. Definition and elements for right of publicity 
    An invasion of privacy whereby D appropriates a celebrity’s identity for commercial gain without consent.

    • Elements:
    • a.    Celebrity/Public Figures—someone who seek publicity to promote work
    • b.     D’s use of P’s identity (name, picture, likeness, slogan, identity)
    •                   1.     Readily identifiable persona/ indicia of
    • identity sufficient: Publicity rights are not limited to name or likeness… anything readily identifiable to the author/creator is sufficient

    c.    Without consent

    d.    For commercial advantage; financial incentive

    • f.      Resulting in P’s injury > commercial interest/value
    • Right of publicity after celebrity dies = split of authority                                           
    • i.     NY Approach: Right of publicity
    • terminates upon celebrity’s death and is NOT a transferrable testamentary right 
    • ii.     CA Approach: Right of publicity survives celebrity’s death and is a transferrable testamentary right

    • 1.     NOTE: Intestate
    • not recognized!!! = If you die intestate you got a problem!!!

  5. Defenses of Appropriation 
    •  i.     Consent                                             
    • ii.     Legitimate public interest/newsworthy = first amendment rights                                      
    • iii.     First Amendment— artwork contains a “significant creative component” to the likeness of the P
    • 1.     IE: Tiger Wood’s picture… there were many
    • portraits, not just Tiger
    • iv.     P is not a natural person 
  6. Definition and Elements of unreasonable intrusion of P's seclusion 
    •  An invasion of privacy whereby D unreasonably
    • and seriously intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon P’s solitude or private affairs in a manner that is highly offensive to a reasonable person.

    a.    Unreasonably/seriously intrudes

    • 1.     P noticed                                                                                  
    • 2.     No need of physical closeness
    • 3.     Info not available through normal inquiry or observation.

    b.    Solitude or private affairs

    1.     Reasonable expectation of privacy of confidential information (not readily available to the public)  

    • i.     Subject and objective

    • 1.    Willingness to invite strangers?  Location? Internal
    • v. External communication.                                                                                          
    • ii.     Public view; voluntarily revealed to others;
    • exposed to public or discarded; overzealous surveillance?

    c.     Highly offensive to reasonable person 
  7. Definition and elements of public disclosure of private facts 
    • An invasion of privacy whereby D publicizes
    • true, private facts regarding P, without a legitimate public interest, in a manner that is highly offensive to a reasonable person
    • i.     Publicize—publicity;
    • widespread dissemination; open
    • and available to the public at large                                  
    • ii.     Disclosure—actual; 
    •   No COA without publicity or if the means of
    • communication is not certain to become public knowledge 
    • iii.     True—if false then it’s false light
    • iv.     Private– information the plaintiff reasonably considered to be private; “closet fact”

    a.    Disclosure must be highly offensive and objectionable to a reasonable person in the situation

    1.     Unlisted phone number     maybe

    2.     iPod Library                               no

    3.     Sexual history                             private

    4.     License plate                               public

    5.     Credit report/social                      depends

    • b.    NOT private: If the information is a matter of legitimate public or general interest, or in the public record it will receive no protection;
    • voluntarily disclosed

    • v.     Facts

    • vi.     Without legitimate public interest/significance/newsworthy

    • a.    The truth may be spoken, written, or printed
    • about all matters of public nature, as well as matters of a private nature in which the public has a legitimate interest
    • b.     Public defines what is a legitimate public interest

    • 1.    Privilege extends to public figures & private individuals who have not sought publicity or consented to it, but through their own conduct or otherwise
    • have become a legitimate subject of public interest

    2.     Any information disseminated for purposes of education, amusement or enlightenment

    3.     Privilege is not absolute

    • i.     Revelations may be so intimate and so
    • unwarranted in view of the victim’s position as to outrage the community’s
    • notions of decency

    B.     NOT recognized in NC


    • C.    MEDIA ENTITY Defense (freedom of speech/ press)                              
    • i.     A media entity is protected under the first amendment if it, lawfully obtained truthful information of public interest absent a need to further state interest of the highest order  (and thus preempts first amendment protections)
  8. Definition and elements and defense to false light 
    • An invasion of privacy whereby D publicizes
    • false information that places P before the public in a false light in a manner that is highly offensive to a reasonable person.
    • i.     Publicity – mass dissemination of information
    • ii.     False information
    • iii.     That placed P in a false light

    a.    By inference

    b.    Photographs, illustrations, videos permissible as evidence of FL claims

    • iv.     Highly
    • offensive to a reasonable person

    • C.     Defense=  1st
    • amendment protection for media entity = actual malice standard                                         
    • i.     1st amendment protects so long as D did NOT act with actual malice and published a matter of public concern

    • a.    Actual Malice Counterclaim: Thus
    • P must prove actual malice—D  acted with knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard of the truth.

    1.     D have knew statement/information was false?

    • 2.      Act in reckless disregard of the truth?
    • ii.     Defense that has nothing to do with the satisfaction
    • of the elements of FL.
    • iii.     Media entity immunity is not lost merely by time lapse alone between original publication and new publication… but are lost if publication is irrelevant and places in false light  (Leverton)
  9. Compare FL to Public Disclosure to Defamation 
    i.     Public Disclosure—publicity of true statements about P’s private affairs

    • ii.     False light—publicity of false information
    • that places P in a false light highly offensive to a reasonable person

    • iii.     Defamation—false statements/representation
    • intended to injure P’s reputation

    • iv.     Takeaways:

    a.    Falsity required for defamation & false light

    b.    Publicity required for public disclosure & false light but only publication required for defamation

    c.     Public Disclosure & False light is an invasion of privacy but may also be an injury of reputation

    1.     There are communications, which, based on their content, are not defamatory but may be false light violations of privacy because they are highly offensive.  

    • i.     IE: D publicizes that P has cancer and it’s
    • an untruth 
Card Set:
3L: FALL ADVANCED TORTS-- Invasion of Privacy
2012-11-08 00:36:22

3L: FALL ADVANCED TORTS-- Invasion of Privacy: Appropriation, Right of Publicity, Public disclosure of private facts; false light; intrusion upon seclusion
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