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Fishers company loses Marilyn Monroe court appeal

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CMG Worldwide, an intellectual property licensing firm in Fishers, has lost a federal court appeal related to ownership of iconic images of Marilyn Monroe.

The appeal stems from a decision in March 2008 by a federal judge in California, who determined that CMG and client Marilyn Monroe LLC didn’t own rights of publicity in that state because the famous actress didn’t reside in that jurisdiction at the time of her death in 1962.

The two had sued photography studios in California and Oregon in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, claiming they were violating copyrights by using Monroe’s image.

The case was transferred to a federal court in California and consolidated with a similar suit involving another photographer.

Marilyn Monroe and CMG appealed, and the appeals court on Thursday affirmed the earlier decision.

In their ruling, the judges said: “We observe that the lengthy dispute over the exploitation of Marilyn Monroe’s persona has ended in exactly the way that Monroe herself predicted more that fifty years ago: ‘I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.’”

Monroe licensing fees typically raked in more than $30 million annually prior to 2008, with CMG pocketing about a quarter of that amount.
 

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

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  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

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