State law claims for the violation of the right of publicity neither fall within the subject matter of copyright nor conflict with the purposes and objectives of the Copyright Act and, therefore, are not preempted, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 7 (Brown v. Ames, 5th Cir., No. 98-20736, 2/7/00).
Roy C. Ames is a music producer who specializes in Texas blues. Around 1990, Ames licensed to Collectibles Inc., a record label that repackages and sells vintage recordings, master recordings that included performances by the plaintiffs, individual blues musicians, songwriters, music producers, or the heirs of such. Collectibles made and distributed cassettes and CDs with the names and, sometimes, the likenesses of the performers on or in them.