It is always interesting to wonder about how real people are portrayed in movies and what, if anything, that individual is going to do regarding certain misconceptions. Well, Mark Fischer and Franklin Levy of Duane Morris LLP recently wrote a very interesting article directly related to this topic, focusing on Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and the film “The Social Network,” in which he is not so favorably portrayed.
The article, entitled “Privacy rights and celebrities: truth, fiction and biopics” goes into great detail surrounding the use of a celebrities name and likeness within a movie, the reasons why defamation claims fail for public figures, the law regarding the right of privacy and publicity, and the possible outcomes that could arise for Zuckerberg. The authors also provide great detail regarding how the law ties into the commercial success of The Social Network and how that hinders Zuckerberg’s chances in bringing a successful lawsuit.
After laying out the main legal topics and summarizing important privacy and publicity rulings, the authors strongly believe that Zuckerberg would be better off refraining from litigation rather than filing a lawsuit. This article is a definite must read.