Book review and discount code: Commercialising Celebrity Persona

This is a review of Commercialising Celebrity Persona, Intellectual Property Law and Practice by Emma Perot, Lecturer in Law at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.  Bloomsbury publishing have kindly provided IPKat readers who would like to purchase this book with a 20% discount. The code can be found below. 

In the preface, Perot explains that:

this is the first book to undertake empirical research on persona protection.

The book examines how the advertising, merchandising, film and television, and sports video-games industries use persona as a key component of their products. Perot conducted semi-structured interviews across the United States and the United Kingdom. The research reveals that, while the law influences the permission to be sought, these industries often contract with individuals to add value to their products via collaboration, and to avoid damage to reputation that might occur if permission were not sought in accordance through social norms. Ultimately, the book argues that persona commercialisation, and redress against unauthorised uses, is influenced by both legal and non-legal factors. 


The book is presented in two main parts; part one provides the foundation and background for the empirical analysis in part two. Part one includes the introductory chapter setting the scene for the book. Chapter two then provides an in-depth analysis of the legal regulation of persona in the UK, New York and California. Chapter three identifies and analyses three influences on behaviour, namely; law, desire to collaborate via contract, and social norms.  

In the UK…they often go beyond what is legally required in terms of seeking permission to use persona, or pay little heed to the Advertising Codes. While the permission requirements are so stringent in the US that behaviours often do reflect the law, they also go beyond what is legally required in certain industries.

Part two is titled ‘Rights in Practice’. Chapter four considers dispute resolution, through case law and interviews. In her research, Perot found two situations to be of importance in this context: the presence of a relationship and the absence of a relationship. In the presence of a relationship, the brand wants to maintain the relationship and therefore legal action is rarely advanced. On the other hand, where there is no relationship, the celebrity will consider legal action.

Claimants will have difficulty seeking redress in the UK as compared to the US as the law is instrumental in addressing unauthorised uses of persona.

Chapters five to eight apply the framework set out in chapter three, with each chapter focusing on a different industry. Chapter five covers the advertising industry and chapter six the merchandising industry. Chapter seven discusses the film and television industry, followed by reality sports video games in chapter eight. Each of these chapters set out the use of persona in each industry, then the relevant theories of compliance are assessed according to the influences at play. Perot compares the similarities and differences in law and behaviours across the jurisdictions. 

The final chapter considers the role of law in each industry and the other influences on persona. Perot identifies that the divergence in legal regulation between the US and UK has a greater impact on dispute resolution than in the transactional sphere. In particular, she notes that there is more likely to be litigation and settlement in the US than in the UK. Perot concludes “that the law is just one influence in persona commercialisation, and that the influences of social norms that are impacted by law to varying extents, and the desire to collaborate, spurred on by technological changes and the consumption of persona via social media, have resulted in distinct practices across various industries.” 

This book will appeal to anyone interested in the law relating to celebrities. It will be of particular interest for those wanting to understand more about the impact of the contrast between how passing off under UK law and the US right of publicity impacts the management of celebrity persona. It may also appeal to those with an interest in the developments of artificial intelligence as it may become relevant for those protecting the use of their persona by AI. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Imprint: Hart Publishing

ISBN: 9781509966097

Dimensions 234 x 156 mm

Available in hardback and ebook 


Discount Price: £68

Order online at  – use the code GLR AQ7 to get 20% off!

Book review and discount code: Commercialising Celebrity Persona Book review and discount code: Commercialising Celebrity Persona Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 Rating: 5

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