SW Legal Educational Publishing

Failure to Remove Name of Former Employee from Web Site Is Not Unauthorized Use for Advertising Purposes
Description The web site of a dance center continued to list the name of a former employee as a contact person for the center for a year after she was no longer employed there. Court held that such use of her name was "fleeting and incidental," so was not an actionable misuse for advertising purposes.
Topic Cyberlaw
Key Words Web Site; Advertising
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Leary, a former employee of the Long Island Ballet Center, sued the Center for using her name as a contact person on a web site for the Center. The web site was constructed by a third party, who used information the Center supplied prior to Leary's departure from the Center. Her suit was brought under New York's Civil Rights Law, which prohibits the name or likeness of any living person to be used for advertising purposes without consent.
Decision Summary judgment for the Center. The web site was prepared by a third party who used information that was accurate at the time it was provided. More importantly, when a reference to a person is "fleeting and incidental," it is not actionable under the law. Here, Leary's name was only one of several listed as a contact person for the Center.
Citation Leary v. Punzi, 687 N.Y.S.2d 551 (Sup. Ct., Suffolk Co., N.Y., 1999)

Back to Cyberlaw Listings

©2000  South-Western, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc. Cengage Learning is a trademark used herein under license.