Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has turned to humor and an amphibian advocate to make her case to Arizona voters — making fun at critics who have been denouncing the Arizona law without reading it. The video has become a hit and pushed Brewer ahead of her Democratic opponent in the race, Terry Goddard.
In the next installment, Brewer will have Kermit hop over to the Fix-It shop and point out Luis and Maria to the INS under the reasonable suspicion provision.
The only choice left to Goddard is to unleash the Big Bird Was Forced To Migrate South video.
By the way, is there any tort liability here? Putting aside trademark, could Sesame Street claim appropriation of name or likeness? The tort is not just limited to use for commercial purpose but anyone who “appropriates to his own use or benefit the name or likeness of another is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy.” Rest. 2d Section 652C. This tort has always raised difficult questions with regard to celebrities and newsworthy stories. Defamation law accommodates such free speech and free press areas through rulings like New York Times v. Sullivan. Appropriate torts have generally favored celebrities and resulted in rulings like White v. Samsung, a perfectly ludicrous ruling where Vanna White successfully sued over the use of a robotic with a blond wig turning cards as the appropriation of her name or likeness. Her the frog has a voice and look similar to Kermit’s. Since Kermit is a puppet, it would seem to eliminate the privacy tort leaving trademark. “Another” under the Restatement references another person. While interesting, I must confess that I do not favor such claims, particularly in areas of parody and political speech like this one.