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Rights of Privacy

Under what conditions does a private person lose rights to privacy and publicity? How do these compare with the privacy rights of a public figure like a politician or someone holding government office? In your opinion, for individuals and for public figures, are the existing laws lax or strict? For example, would it be legal to run a website keeping track of convicted pedophiles?

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While the right of publicity provides the individual with a property right in his/her identity, the right of privacy protects an individual from the emotional anguish resulting from the publication of private facts that are embarrassing, intimate or portray someone in a false light that is highly offensive. The right of publicity must also be distinguished from defamation in that defamation involves the publication of untruthful information while right of publicity claims usually result from the publication of truthful information. [1]

In your opinion, for individuals and for public figures, are the existing laws lax or strict?
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Uniform federal law does not currently protect the individual's right of publicity but there have been increasing demands for a federal right of publicity law. Therefore, the right of publicity currently varies from state to state but either common law or statutory law in almost every state protects certain individuals from the unauthorized exploitation of their identity. While in some states the right of publicity is only applicable to a celebrity or public personality there are other states where the right of publicity applies to any individual. However, in a number of states the individual's right of publicity is only protected when the misappropriation of the ...

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