Midlers Voice Assignment Help

Midlers Voice Assignment Help

PRIVACY: MIDLER VS. FORD MOTOR CO (1988)  

Introduction

Midlers Voice Assignment HelpBusiness organization takes the helps of famous celebrity to advertise their product. It helps organization to improve their brand image. However, most of the time, business organisations are found to practice unlawful activities that affect personal life. In this paper, the author has focused on discussing the case of Midler vs. Ford Motor Co (1988). In this paper the author has discussed copyright laws and regulations applicable in this case.

Facts

In 1980’s Ford Motor Company introduced their latest model Ford Lincoln Mercury in the USA. In order to successful launch their new car, the organization decided to develop a TV commercial. For the purpose of the TV commercial, the advertising agency of Ford Motor recommended world famous singer Bette Midler’s voice. However, due to certain reasons Bette Midler’s voice refused their proposal. Hence, in order to obtain the similar kind of voice, the advertising agency approached another singer who used to work as a backup singer for Bette Midler. Voice of the advertisement was quite similar to Bette Midler record “Do you want to Dance”. Advertisement was successfully launched in 1988 and it gets famous in a short period of time. However, when Bette Midler gets to know about this act, she lodged a complaint against the Ford Motors. As per the singer, Ford Motors and their advertising agency have used her voice without her permission. Moreover, she claimed a protectable property right of publicity in her voice[1].

Procedural History

This case was heard under Ninth circuit court under the United States court of appeal. The case was evaluated under the context of Federal copyright law, First Amendment and a state tort action. The argument has started in the beginning of the February 1988 and it lasted up to June 1988[2].

Issue

In this case, the issue is related to use of the personal identity of an individual as per the regulation. Any individual has no right to misuse the personal identity of an individual. However, if the identity of an individual is issued for betterment of the society, it has full immunity. Moreover, and individual has the right to decide use of their personal identity and they have the freedom to use in their way[3].

Since, in this case, voice of the female celebrity singer was used for the commercial purpose with her permission[4]. Hence, it is questionable, whether the voice of an individual is distinctive feature and personal. Bette Midler has claimed that she is known singers and her voice is her property. As per the singer, she has the right to decide when to sing and when do not. An organization and individual has no right to use another person’s identity to demonstrate their product.

Rules

The voice an individual is considered as personal property which the person has the right to use as per own accord. If the advertising agency uses this voice for cultural and informative purpose, the individual have the immunity. However, if the agency has used the voice of the singer for commercials purpose and profit making object they did not have the immunity[5].

Applications

The court has applied three law including First Amendment, Federal copyright law and tort law under California law[6]. First Amendment protects reproduction of an individual’s identity. Under this law, an individual’s identity is protected from getting used in an unlawful behaviour[7]. Under the media converted, reproduction of an individual’s voice for the cultures and informative purpose has provided immunity. It means that if an individual voice is used with a good motive it has the right to do so.

However, if the identity of an individual is used to exploit individual the court will not provide the immunity. It means that of the identity of an individual is stolen and it is used for harming other, it has not legal right to do so[8]. Moreover, the person that has used this identity is a subject to the legal obligation. According to the court, television commercial has become an integral part of the society. It has evolved over the period of time; moreover, there influence in the human life has increased. Therefore, it is not right to say that Ford has used the voice for the purpose of other than culture and informative purpose.

The Federal copyright law protects an individual’s works and efforts from being used by another organisation for the profit major objective. It has been observed in the case of Apple Corps Limited v. Leber et al., where the apple has filed case against the fan club fort using their copyrighted tune of the Beatles. In this case copyright cat is applicable because Apple has already made the copyright of their product[9].

Similar situation was observed in the case of International News Service v. Associated Press, whether the International News Services has used world reports of the associated press without their permission. In this case, Copyright Act was applicable because each press organisation has the copyright of their articles[10].

Hence, the court has provided the support of Copyright law to provide protection against piracy. However, this case has certain condition to apply.  This law is applicable under the case, where the personal identity and information is use for financial motive[11].

However, in the case of Bette Midler, her voice was used for non profit motive. The voice of the singer is represented in the exact format without making any change in her voice. It represents that the organization has not misused and misinterpreted her voice.

However, under California law, the court has claimed that use of personal identity of an individual can harm their dignity and self respect[12].  Use of personal identity of an individual without permission, is against the law. It makes the person feels disrespectful; and it raised question against the law and system.  As per the courts verdict, voice of an individual is not copyrightable but they are distinctive and personal feature of an individual. The court has claimed that voice of an individual is most important characteristic of the identity. Hence, use of the voice of an individual against their permission is similar to taking their identity. The court has found that milder voice was indirectly used for commercials purpose. Hence, the court has found Ford motor guilty under tort law of California law[13].

Conclusion

This paper has discussed the case of Ford motors and Bette Midler (1988), in which the female singer has filed a complaint against the Ford Motor. In this paper the author has discussed the various aspects of this case and issues related to this case. It has been observed that advertising agency of the Ford Motors have used the personal voice of famous female singer for their commercial shooting.  It was observed that organization has used the voice of the singer without her permission. In response to this case, the female singer lodged a complaint against the organisation in the Ninth Circuit court. Bette Midler has claimed for the copyright act under this case. However, the court has applied three different regulations to make the judgment. The court has evacuated the case under First Amendment, a state tort action and Federal copyright law.

As per the court’s verdict, First Amendment is not applicable under this case, because Ford Motors has not misused the voice of the female singer. They have merely created an articulated version of the singer’s voice through another professional singer, and that too in exchange of money. Clearly, this was a natural business transaction and since the original singer did not provided any permission to use voice in written terms.  Hence the allegation was not valid in court.

As per the court, Ford Motors has used this voice for culture and informative purpose.  In addition to this, the court has applied Federal copyright law, for making the judgement. It has been observed that voice of the female singers is not used by the organization for producing another song. Moreover, the organization has not used this voice for direct commercial purpose. Hence, the court has claimed that voice is not copyrightable under this case. At last the court has applied tort law, which reflects that use of the personal identity can harm an individual’s self respects. Hence, even if the organization has not used the voice for direct commercials they have intentionally replicated her voice. After the courts found Ford Motors guilty, they have asked to pay a penalty of $400,000 in response to the damage of the tort law.

Concurring statement

  • Publicity right is not only applicable for the celebrities
  • Publicity right is derived by the commercial advantage
  • Voice is not copyrightable, using the similar voice for different signs is a same thing
  • Even when the voice is not copyrightable, it cannot be used without the permission of the individual owner
  • Using identity of an individual without their permission can harm their self respect and dignity. Hence, it is applicable under tort law. 

Midlers Voice Assignment Help

Implication of the court’s decision 

After hearing the opinion of the both the parties, the Ninth court has found Ford Motors guilty under Tort Law. Hence, the court has order Ford Motors to pays $400,000 in response to the claim under Tort Law[14].

 Bibliography

  • Abraham, Kenneth, and White, Edward, The Transformation of the Civil Trial and the Emergence of American Tort Law. (2017) 59, Ariz. L. Rev.,431-483.
  • Apple Corps Limited v. Leber, et al (1986) 229 U.S.P.Q. 1015
  • Coates IV, John C., Corporate speech and the First Amendment: history, data, and implications. (2015) 30 Const. Comment., 223-275.
  • Copyright.gov, Chapter 5: Copyright Notice, Deposit, and Registration (10 February 2018) < ;
  • Copyright.gov, Copyright Law of the United States (10 February 2018) < ;
  • Duffy, J. F., and Hynes, R.  Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property. (2016) 102(1), Virginia Law Review, 1-77.
  • International News Service v. Associated Press, (1918) 248 U.S. 215
  • Joyce, Craig, Ochoa, Tyler T, Carroll, Michael, Leaffer, Marshall and Jaszi, Peter, Copyright law. (Carolina Academic Press, 2016) 85.
  • Midler v Ford Motor Co, 849 F2d 460 (1988) (9th Cir 1988)
  • Redish, Martin and Voils, Kyle, False Commercial Speech and the First Amendment: Understanding the Implications of the Equivalency Principle. (2016) 25(3) Wm. and Mary Bill Rts. J., 765-770.
  • Strauch, Bruce, Carson Bryan, and Montgomery, Jack, Cases of Note: Copyright Preempts Invasion of Privacy. (2015) 27(2), Against the Grain, 44-45.

Volokh, Eugene, The First Amendment and Related Statutes. (Foundation Press, 2016)

  •  [1] Midler v Ford Motor Co, 849 F2d 460 (1988) (9th Cir 1988)
  • [2] Copyright.gov, Copyright Law of the United States (10 February 2018) < ;
  • [3] Duffy, J. F., and Hynes, R.  Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property. (2016) 102(1), Virginia Law Review, 1-77.
  • [4] Redish, Martin and Voils, Kyle, False Commercial Speech and the First Amendment: Understanding the Implications of the Equivalency Principle. (2016) 25(3) Wm. and Mary Bill Rts. J., 765-770.
  • [5] Joyce, Craig, Ochoa, Tyler T, Carroll, Michael, Leaffer, Marshall and Jaszi, Peter, Copyright law. (Carolina Academic Press, 2016) 85.
  • [6] Strauch, Bruce, Carson Bryan, and Montgomery, Jack, Cases of Note: Copyright Preempts Invasion of Privacy. (2015) 27(2), Against the Grain, 44-45.
  • [7] Volokh, Eugene, The First Amendment and Related Statutes. (Foundation Press, 2016) 127
  • [8] Coates IV, John C., Corporate speech and the First Amendment: history, data, and implications. (2015) 30 Const. Comment., 223-275.
  • [9] Apple Corps Limited v. Leber, et al (1986) 229 U.S.P.Q. 1015
  • [10] International News Service v. Associated Press, (1918) 248 U.S. 215
  • [11] Copyright.gov, Copyright Law of the United States (10 February 2018) < ;
  • [12] Copyright.gov, Chapter 5: Copyright Notice, Deposit, and Registration (10 February 2018) < ;
  • [13] Abraham, Kenneth, and White, Edward, The Transformation of the Civil Trial and the Emergence of American Tort Law. (2017) 59, Ariz. L. Rev.,431-483.
  • [14] Midler v Ford Motor Co, 849 F2d 460 (1988) (9th Cir 1988)

David Marks

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