Paris Hilton | Mega Brand, Mega Star
Ah Paris. The little girl that started off a mere heiress to a multi billion dollar hotel chain, and grew up to be an amateur porn star and millionaire business woman in her own right. Paris sure is a true American icon.
In reality, Paris Hilton is probably loathed much more than she is adored, but somehow, in spite of that, she continues to make gross amounts of money from her brand. In 2006 she is reported to have made over two hundred million dollars from various enterprises. Although she talks like a ten year old child, and appears to be completely unaware of the results that spreading oneself about in the public eye brings, she certainly has a superior talent when it comes to making money.
You can make money in a wide variety of ways, and one of those ways that should not be ignored by any young entrepreneur is litigation. Paris sued Hallmark recently for using her likeness on a card. Hallmark retaliated in style claiming that it was Paris' fault, she had made herself a household name, and must therefore deal with people parodying her. The motion to dismiss read in part:
"Hilton has become a household name, based in large part on her efforts to draw attention to herself. Having done so, she has subjected herself to public scrutiny and the parodist´s pen. The First Amendment does not allow her to respond by welcoming the fawning and flattering, but silencing the critical and comical."
Hear Hear Hallmark.
The interesting point of contention here is that Paris Hilton is more than a person, she is also a brand. So in a way, Hallmark infringed on a brand owned by another company and made a profit from it. Of course, from their point of view they were simply lambasting a woman of well known loose morals.
Still, if you can purchase a tape of someone engaged in sexual activity and distribute it without their permission, you would think that it would be perfectly okay to simply use their image in a completely non sexual manner.
Paris' sue happy ways do not end there however. Whilst on a trip to Canada, she discovered posters of herself in a porn store window. Now this might be a bit disturbing to say, you or I, but then again, you and I probably haven't made a sex tape and sold it around the world. Paris' objection to the posters seemed to hinge on the fact that they were "mean". Upon spying the posters in the window, Paris stormed into the store, ripped the posters down, and yelled about suing the store to the befuddled employees.
I wonder if "mean" is a legal defense now? I guess her lawyers are looking into it.
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