Defendants used the name and portrayed the career of one Jack Donahue in a motion picture and exhibited this film in Utah. Plaintiffs, Donahue's heirs, brought suit under a Utah statute which creates a remedial action for the use of the "name, portrait, or picture" of a person, living or dead, "for advertising purposes or purposes of trade" without the written consent of that person or his heirs. There was no use of Donahue's name, portrait or picture for the purpose of advertising the film. The film ''biography" was in part without factual basis. The defendants contended that the late Donahue was a public figure, having attained wide popularity as an entertainer during his lifetime, and that the Utah statute was not intended to protect public figures from the use of their names and careers in films such as this. The federal district court entered a summary judgment dismissing the complaint, but the court of appeals, in a close decision, reversed and remanded the cause, holding: Donahue's status as a public figure does not make it permissible, under the Utah statute, for the defendants to present a fictional treatment of his career "for purposes of trade." Donahue v. Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., (10th Cir. 1952) 194 F. (2d) 6.
Richard D. Rohr S.Ed.,
TORTS-STATUTORY RIGHT OF PRIVACY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol51/iss5/20