University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

Document Type



The right of publicity protects a person against the use of his or her name, identity, likeness, or other personal characteristics for commercial purposes without consent. Many states have implemented a statutory right of publicity or have recognized the right under common law. Currently, only three states have a post-mortem right of publicity. This article discusses jurisdictions that have adopted a postmortem right of publicity, and advocates that Arkansas adopt a postmortem right of publicity for everyone.

Specifically, the article argues that traditional protection stemming from actions for invasion of a right of privacy, trademark infringement, and copyright infringement cannot substitute for the protection afforded by a post-mortem right of publicity. Therefore, the article argues that a postmortem right of publicity should be descendible and inheritable as personal property upon the owner’s death. The article concludes that adopting a post-mortem right of publicity in Arkansas would protect Arkansans from use of their name, image, or likeness for commercial purposes without their consent.