Whose Life is it Anyway: An Analysis and Proposal for the Texas Property Code When Everyone Acts Like a Celebrity and Everything is and Advertisement
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There are a variety of justifications for protecting individual rights to privacy and publicity. This comment focuses on those justifications—incentive, economic, natural right to one’s identity, et cetera—with regard to estate planning. It also discusses and analyzes Texas’s position in the nation as a leader in legislation and how to tailor the state’s laws to modern developments in society. As a state that works to protect property for the sake of individuals and communities, this comment proposes that Texas adopt new statutes affording living persons the same protections deceased persons have regarding persona and likeness. First, this comment discusses the source of Texas publicity statutes and illustrates how these statutes function through discussions of major cases. It then explores the state of publicity in other community property states, and various rationales for protecting persona. This comment also explores how emerging technologies have invented new types of fame and different ways to exploit that fame. Additionally, this comment lays out which measures the Texas legislature should consider adopting in order to be a frontrunner in the redevelopment of privacy and publicity laws in a world of social media and hyperactive consumer behavior. Finally, this comment examines the rationales for statutorily protecting a living individual’s persona and the reasons why every community property state should consider it as well.