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Fishers company loses Marilyn Monroe suit

Michael W.
September 4, 2008
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CMG Worldwide, an intellectual property licensing firm in Fishers, has lost a federal lawsuit relating to the iconic images of the late actress Marilyn Monroe.

On Sept. 2, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan ruled that heirs of New York photographer Sam Shaw own rights to the photos. The judge granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Shaw and dismissed the case, but allowed the photographer's trust to proceed on some counterclaims.

Shaw Family Archives trust sued CMG and CMG client Marilyn Monroe LLC in April 2005, alleging copyright infringement relating to three Shaw images used on merchandise without permission. The Indiana company argued that it owned Monroe's right of publicity, and asked the court to decide that the late actress was a California resident when she died in 1962.

Monroe's home would have determined the right of publicity based on laws in California and New York. An Indiana suit and others were combined with the California suit.

In March, U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow of the Central District of California in Los Angeles determined that CMG and 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.

The California case is identical, McMahon wrote. The only difference is that it involves a different photographer.

Monroe licensing fees on everything from TV commercials to T-shirts have raked in more than $30 million in the last dozen years. Roughly 25 percent of the windfall has landed in CMG coffers.

CMG CEO Mark Roesler said he is disappointed by the ruling.

"What this [NY] court is trying to say is that because it says she was domiciled in New York, Marilyn Monroe LLC can't prevent photographers from using images they took of her," Roesler said. "This is a narrow decision and we fully expect to appeal."

Roesler said the New York ruling and the one in California have no bearing on any of its other 250 clients encompassing hundreds of celebrities including James Dean, Elvis Presley and John Wayne.

 

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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