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tswartz123, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 3175
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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Listen to this tape from a Larry king radio show done in the

Customer Question

Listen to this tape from a Larry king radio show done in the 1980s:
Here are my questions. My boss is writing a book. Can he use any portions of this audio for his own commercials? Meaning, what can he use or not use from this without larry kings permission? If Larry King dies does that change anything? I am offline so will respond by email, thanks,
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  tswartz123 replied 10 months ago.

Hello Ron,

It would not be wise to use Larry King's voice without his permission. Most states recognize a legal right which is called the "right to publicity." An individual's "right to publicity" is that person's ability control the use of his name, likeness, voice, photograph, signature, image, likeness, etc. for commercial purposes. This is to protect a person's interest in making money off of his own persona. It is seen as unfair and against one's rights if someone else uses his name, image, voice, etc. to make money off that person. So, if your boss uses Larry King's voice in a commercial, it is essentially an attempt to make money off of Larry King. And if Larry King did not approve of this use, there is the possibility he could bring a civil lawsuit against your boss for damages.

Things would not change if Larry King died. His estate would maintain his right to publicity, and they would be able to bring the same type of suit to stop the use and seek damages.

So, it is highly recommended that before using Larry King's voice, you seek his permission.

Good Luck.