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DECISIONS Young’s e-mail address is gyoungnlj.com. an artist’s rendering of Tiger Woods’ victory in the 1997 Masters Tournament, along with an explanatory narrative using Woods’ name, does not violate the golfer’s trademark in his name or likeness, and the artist’s First Amendment rights outweigh Woods’ right of publicity, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on June 20. ETW Corp. v. Jireh Publishing Inc., No. 00-3584. The print featured Woods in several poses, two caddies, the clubhouse, the leader board and the likenesses of at least six former tournament champions watching over everything. The narrative described Woods’ historic victory and glorified the tournament’s history. ETW Corp., the company that has exclusive publicity rights to Woods’ name, image, likeness and signature, sued the artist, Rick Rush, and Jireh Publishing, which distributed the limited-edition prints and lithographs. ETW claimed violations of the Lanham Act for trademark dilution and false advertising and violation of Woods’ right of publicity under Ohio common law. The district court granted Jireh’s motion for summary judgment. A divided 6th Circuit affirmed. There was no trademark dilution because a celebrity’s name may be used in a title of an artistic work. There was no unauthorized use of Woods’ likeness because, “as a general rule, a person’s image or likeness cannot function as a trademark.” An image cannot function as a trademark because there exist thousands of images and likenesses of Woods throughout the world taken by countless photographers. Adopting a test new to the 6th Circuit, the court ruled that there was no right of publicity violation (an extension of the right to privacy) because “Rush’s work has substantial informational and creative content which outweighs any adverse effect on ETW’s market.”

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