photographers - releases - copyrights..etc and "TX vs. Ames"

Andy Allu
Fri May 9 08:46:03 EDT 2008

I believe there was a fairly low profile, but significant ruling in Texas  
and King (the Estate of Freddy) v. (Roy) Ames where it was determined that  
"ownership" of a property (video, audio or still-photography) does not entitle  
the "owner" (in this case, Roy Ames) to use or exploit that property for  
financial gain without the advance written agreement of the "artist".
Ames had tons of publicity photos and audio tapes on numerous artists,  
including Freddy King, that HE had paid for when he was an agent for them.   Very 
late in his career he decided to start licensing them to Record Labels and  he 
started his own label ("Home Cooking" ?).  Freddy King's family (and I  
believe Juke Boy Bonner's as well) took him to court and won.  While the  court 
ruled he had clear ownership and it was his property, that didn't entitle  him to 
make money off of an image or audio recording without an agreement (and  
paying royalties) to the artist or their estate.
To the best of my knowledge, this local ruling has never been challenged or  
overturned.  While it is not a "Federal Case", as they always say, it is  the 
kind of legal precedent that attorneys love to use when arguing their own  
local or individual cases.
Andy  Allu
_Silk City  Records_ (  

In a message dated 5/8/2008 10:37:41 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

As for  the second question, the unauthorized appropriation of a person's
likeness  or personality for a commercial purpose is an invasion of privacy
and can  get you sued.  A couple of well-known examples are Rosa Parks'  suit
against the rap group for using her name in a "song" and Jackie  Onassis'
suit against a clothing manufacturer for using a "look-alike" to  promote
their  clothes.

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