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Giving Rights of Publicity the Finger

Finger puppet-maker extraordinaire Mullish Muse has designed handfuls upon handfuls of characters, from holiday standards to Presidential candidates.  While these clever creations are appealing stocking stuffers, the fashion designer series, thus far consisting of Karl Lagerfelt (below), John Gallaineano, and Vivienne Westwool, and the rock star series may give rise to legal finger-pointing. 

 

Like other celebrities who invest in and profit from their images, fashion designers may enjoy rights of publicity under state law and in various non-U.S. jurisdictions.  True, some might appreciate being immortalized in felt and sold on Etsy, but others might not -- and Karl Lagerfeld in particular is quite protective of his image.

So while Ms. Muse carefully referred to the puppet's attire as an "Italian-style suit," avoiding a false designation of origin, and to the designer's "trademark ponytail" (not literally, but colloquially -- it's a signature style), the long arm of the law may ultimately stay her hand.