Both miss A’s Suzy and management agency YG Entertainment will be appealing the rulings of their recent publicity rights cases.
Last month, Suzy and YG Entertainment filed separate publicity lawsuits that were dismissed by the Seoul Central District Court for similar reasons.
Suzy sued a shopping mall that used her name and face without her permission to sell “Suzy hats.” Shortly after the court dismissed her case, Suzy submitted an appeal on February 24.
YG Entertainment claimed damages against “manufacturer S,” alleging that the manufacturer had “used without permission the names, photos, etc. of the agency’s artists, including Psy, G-Dragon, and CL, thus infringing on publicity rights.”
The court’s ruling was virtually identical to that of Suzy’s case: “There is no need to recognize, on top of the right to one’s image and one’s name, a separate publicity right, which is the right to commercially use them [one’s image and one’s name].”
Additionally, the court stated, “The doll that imitates Psy doesn’t look similar to Psy’s outer appearance.”
According to a legal insider, YG Entertainment filed an appeal on March 5, just 21 days after the court’s ruling. The appeal will make its way to the appellate court within one to two weeks at the earliest, after which a court date will be set.
Publicity rights are, in short, the right to control the commercial use of one’s name, face, image, and other aspects related to one’s identity.
Suzy and YG Entertainment’s lawsuits follow on the heels of a huge publicity rights lawsuit that 55 celebrities, including Bae Yong Joon, 2PM, Kim Nam Gil, BoA, Jang Dong Gun, and Girls’ Generation, lost against a portal site last year. There have been some victories, however, with actress Kim Sun Ah winning a case against the owner of a plastic surgery clinic that was using her name and picture without permission, and actress-model Min Hyo Rin winning a similar case.