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Las Vegas
lawsuits
  • Elvis' Legacy Is Safe
    (The National Law Journal - 7/16/90)
    Estate Of Elvis Presley v. Legends Entertainment
    "In a "right of publicity" case filed by the Estate of Elvis Presley, theatrical impressarios who sought to profit from the likeness of Elvis Presley in a stage production without a license from his heirs were enjoined from doing so."

  • The Elvis Presley Estate vs. "The Velvet Elvis" Nightclub (online link now gone)
    (Cyberspace and New Media Law Center)
    Elvis Presley Enterprises v. Capece, reported at 950 F. Supp. 783 (S.D. Tex. 1996) rev'd 1998 WL 229797 (5th Cir, May 8, 1998)

  • Stepping on Blue Suede Shoes Is Infringement
    (swlearning.com)
    Nightclub called "The Velvet Elvis" that used Elvis Presley theme violated trademark and service mark rights of owner of Presley trademarks and publicity rights. Parody is not a defense against infringement.
    Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. v. Capece, 1998 WL 229797 (---F.3d---, 5th Cir.) or 141 F.3d 188 (5th cir., 1998)

  • Court rules the Velvet Elvis tavern can keep its painting and its name
    (Houston Business Journal)
    After two years in court and thousands of dollars in legal fees, the Velvet Elvis tavern was allowed to keep its name in a ruling handed down Monday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore. ... Gilmore's opinion means that Capece can continue using the Velvet Elvis name and keep the velvet Presley painting hanging in his Richmond Avenue tavern as long as he does so in the spirit of parody. Gilmore found that Capece's satirical use of Elvis' name and paraphernalia was tongue-in-cheek and did not constitute trademark infringement.

  • Court Upholds Elvis Presley Estate's Trademark Rights
    (Memphis Business Journal)
    No one was singing the blues Monday at Graceland, where Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden lauded the decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn an 18-month-old ruling allowing a Houston nightclub to be called "The Velvet Elvis." "We have always believed that the use of the image and likeness of Elvis Presley, even under the guise of parody, was an infringement of our rights," Soden said. Not surprisingly, Velvet Elvis owner Barry Capece, was displeased. "Some basic rights might be getting slightly chilled here," he said. Asked what the club's new name might be, Capece replied, "How about 'The Velvet Dead Fat Junkie'?

  • The David Whips Goliath: Elvis Presley Enterprises Loses in Ruling 1999
    By Sarah Lacy
    (American City Business Journals Inc.)
    After a 12-year court battle described by London entrepreneur Sid Shaw as a David vs. Goliath rematch, Shaw (the self-proclaimed David) won the ruling of a British court that Goliath (Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.) cannot impede his use of Elvis' name or likeness on souvenirs and memorabilia.
    Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc v Sid Shaw Elvisly Yours [1999] RPC 567 (CA); [1997] RPC 543

  • Judgment in the British Court of Appeals (under "Legal matters")
    (Elvisly Yours)
    "Elvisly Yours wins an historic Judgement in the British High Court against Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc, March 18th 1997"
    Case No: CH 1996 E No 1337

  • Judgment in the British Court of Appeals (under "Legal matters")
    (Elvisly Yours)
    "Elvisly Yours wins a landmark case against Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc, on the trade marks ELVIS, ELVIS PRESLEY and his signature in the British Court of Appeals, March 12th 1999"

  • Elvis's wife in 7m virgin bride lawsuit 1999
    By John Hiscock
    (Daily Telegraph)
    19 September 1997: Article about a lawsuit brought by Priscilla Presley against Currie Grant, one of the singer's friends, for 7 million over statements he made to Suzanne Finstad, whose book Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley was published in 1997. Mr Grant claims in the book that he slept with Priscilla before he introduced her to Elvis while they were stationed in Germany with the US army. Mrs Presley claims that Mr Grant was a hanger-on. Mr Grant filed a 3 million counter suit against Mrs Presley, saying she is trying to sustain the myth that she was a virgin bride. He claims she defamed him by claiming to Miss Finstad that he tried to rape her in the 1950s.

  • Elvis Presley Enterprises v. Passport Video 2003 amended 2004
    The case concerns the video set "Definitive Elvis"

  • FAIR USE - EVEN MORE ISSUES
    By IVAN HOFFMAN
    About fair use in the copyright law, as it relates to Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. et. al. vs. Passport Video et. al. Concludes: ' ... any party seeking to rely on the fair use defense runs the substantial risk of guessing wrong. Guessing wrong and not licensing means that, irrespective of the outcome, a litigation generally follows with all of the attendant costs, expenses, potential damages and other party attorney fees and so on, not to mention the often hidden costs of loss of other opportunities, loss of sleep and so on. Litigation is an example of remedial law-of "fix me" law. Licensing, on the other hand, is an example of preventative law-of "help me" law. Help me is almost always cheaper than fix me'

  • The King is Dead
    (Hartford Advocate, May 15 2003)
    Waterbury's Seven Angels Theatre was forced to cease production of The King of Memphis: The Music of Elvis, an original stage show described as "an upbeat musical revue celebrating Elvis' life and music" ... Production of the show was halted last week with a cease-and-desist order from Elvis Presley Enterprises, the Memphis firm that owns the Elvis trademark and protects the King's likeness, name, image, and music from unauthorized use. The injunction came without warning, Norelli says, just days before opening night. Seven Angels had been advertising the production for three months, with no word from the Elvis camp. She says the theater's directors "didn't think it was an issue," and that "all of the permissions [were] in line." In fact, "we were preparing to send them in [last] week," Norelli says.

  • The Letter
    (The Original unofficial Elvis Home Page)
    Letter from Elvis Presley Enterprises demanding immediate withdrawal of "Cyber Graceland Tour" web pages.

  • Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. v. ABC, Inc., Fairchild Publications, Inc., and Los Angeles Magazine, Inc.
    (Entertainment Law Digest) 1998
    Fashion spread in which celebrity likenesses were superimposed on new clothes spawns its third lawsuit, this time filed by owner of Elvis' publicity rights. Subscription needed to view the full story.

  • Dumb Lawsuits
    (James Fuqua's Law Jokes)
    Under" Some true examples of frivolous lawsuits in Texas:"
    "A man in Fort Worth filed a lawsuit against Elvis Presley Enterprises, contending that the King faked his death and ran off to live a normal life. He says he knows for certain that Elvis is alive because he has had frequent telephone calls from him."

legacy
  • THE KING, AUGUST 15, 1997 - TRANSCRIPT
    (PBS)
    Paul Solman reviews the life and times of Elvis Presley, and then leads a discussion on his "strange" legacy, talking with Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records; Peter Guralnick, author; and Charles Wolfe, professor at Middle Tennessee State University, who studies cultural history and of course Elvis.

  • Remembering the King: The Soul Behind the Celebrity
    By Johann Christoph Arnold
    When Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, our country lost a remarkable man. Many people remember only his talents, his fame, his success, and his wealth. For others, the outstanding image is that of his tragic end, when he slowly succumbed to the ravages of medications. But as most fans know, there is always more to a life than what the mass media portray. Coming to this country in the mid-1950s, I had the privilege of shaking Elvis's hand at a high school concert. From that moment on, the King was part of my life, even though I never learned to appreciate his music. In fact, I often felt disgusted by his style and the fanatic response it evoked in his audiences. Yet at the same time something attracted me to him, because I felt that here was a unique individual struggling to find his true identity. I am certain that it was through this struggle that God gave him the humor, humility, and kindness that endeared him to millions of people. These traits were even more important than his music. Popularity and wealth often obscure the real person. I have met many famous people - politicians, Hollywood and sports stars -and often found them to be deeply lonely, because their material comforts hinder them from relating to their neighbors. They are isolated because they have to live up to an image, so as not to disappoint their audience and fans. After a while this buries the true self and prevents community with one's fellow human beings. ...

  • Elvis's Legacy: Is he in the building?
    By John Gettings
    (infoplease.com)
    In the lead-up to Elvis Week 2004 John Gettings discusses Elvis's continuing popularity and fan base. "Elvis's international success is amazing when you consider that, except for a handful of movie soundtrack songs, he never recorded in another language, and, except for five shows in three Canadian cities in 1957, he never performed a note outside of the U.S."

  • His Truth Goes Marching On: The Living Legacy of Elvis Presley
    By Trevor O'Sullivan
    (egoist)
    Any academic who looks hard at Elvis and his legacy is forever in danger of romanticising him by virtue of the simple fact that Elvis himself was so sensational, and his story so inherently dramatic. In the continuing passion to find out more about the man and assess his enduring legacy, future generations will face snarling problems of historiography and biographical veracity. It is perfectly appropriate that the literature about Presley would be so astonishingly vast and diversified in scope: as full of irony, paradox and contradiction as the man himself. By attempting to debunk the myths and reach the truth about Elvis, we invariably succeed in mythologising him further. ...

  • Chuck D Speaks on Elvis' Legacy
    (top40-charts.com)
    Public Enemy frontman Chuck D derided Elvis Presley on the group's 1989 anthem "Fight The Power," but it turns out his feelings for Presley are a little more complicated than the song suggests. "As a musicologist - and I consider myself one - there was always a great deal of respect for Elvis, especially during his Sun sessions. As a black people, we all knew that," the rapper said. "My whole thing was the one-sidedness - like, Elvis' icon status in America made it like nobody else counted. ... My heroes came from someone else. My heroes came before him. My heroes were probably his heroes. As far as Elvis being ' The King,' I couldn't buy that." ... As for whether there is a modern-day Elvis, Chuck D points to Eminem. ...

  • Mystery encircles Elvis and nourishes his legacy
    By Michael Lollar
    (Commercial Appeal, August 12, 1997)
    Elvis Presley's rise to stardom turned Memphis into everything from a tourist destination to what some believe is the home of the generation gap and, to some, the mecca of a quasi-religious movement. ...

legal issues
  • Policing Elvis: Legal Action and the Shaping of Post-Mortem Celebrity Culture as Contested Space
    By David S Wall
    (Entertainment Law, Issue: Volume 2, Number 3 / September 2003, pp: 35 - 69)
    This article explores the use of legal and quasi-legal actions in the shaping of celebrity culture as contested space. It draws upon an analysis of the post-mortem career of Elvis Presley to illustrate how our knowledge of Elvis has been formed by the various legal actions which assisted the passage of his name, image and likeness from the public to the private domain and also the various 'policing' governance strategies that have since been employed to maintain control over the use of his image.

  • The King and I (under "Legal matters")
    (Elvisly Yours / Managing Intellectual Property, Issue 100, June 2000)
    Article on the battle over intellectual property rights to Elvis, mentioning both Elvisly Yours' sale of merchandise and a ballet called "The King". Outlines the history of Sid Shaw's long battle with Elvis Presley Enterprises. Sid also survived intimidation from the Russian mafia and from Hackey Borough Council.

  • Currents: History as property. Can words and pictures that are part of national psyche be owned?
    (CNN Interactive: The 20 Century in depth series, Episode 7, 1961-1969)
    By Bruce Kennedy
    Discusses "intellectual property", "public interest", the "right of publicity" and the "right of personality". The "right of publicity" doesn't apply to normal people but to people who developed a very identifiable persona that the public very much identifies with them, such as Madonna or Elvis Presley or Liberace. Jack Soden, president and CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), puts EPE's point of view, including their attitude towards impersonators.

  • Sports Stars' Rights in Asia
    By Bina Cunningham of Denton Wilde Sapte, Hong Kong
    (Law Gazette, Singapore)
    Discusses personality rights, common law, defamation and trade marks as means of protecting a sports person from unauthorised commercial exploitation of his persona in Hong Kong. Also discusses domain names, copyright / media rights.
    "In the Elvis Presley case, the English Court of Appeal confirmed that the names 'Elvis' and 'Elvis Presley' could not be registered as trade marks as they did not distinguish the goods of one trader from another. It was considered that members of the public buy Elvis Presley merchandise not because it comes from a particular source but because it carries the name or image of Elvis Presley."
    Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc v Sid Shaw Elvisly Yours [1999] RPC 567 (CA); [1997] RPC 543

  • Cocaine-Cola, the Velvet Elvis, and Anti-Barbie: Defending the Trademark and Publicity Rights to Cultural Icons
    (Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Winter 1998)
    By Steven M. Cordero

  • Whose name is it anyway? (8th item)
    (Trade Mark Advice Centre, UK)
    ... a certain Mr Pringle attempted to monopolise the Jane Austen name by applying to register it as a trade mark for cosmetics, toiletries and the like. ... This case is a classic example of the "well known person" trade mark issue. Readers may be familiar with the Elvis Presley litigation, that of the name Tarzan, Diana Princess of Wales' likeness and signature, all of which have fallen down on the grounds that the marks in question were not distinctive of the applicants' goods.

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life and death
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