The right of publicity and accompanying sense of security against one’s likeness being taken advantage of for commercial gain while living is, in many states, a long-recognized matter of state statute. In other states, such as North Carolina, there exists no right of publicity but instead a common law right of privacy, which tends to afford similar protection and recovery to living persons. However, the emergent ability of advanced artificial intelligence systems to render lifelike audiovisual depictions of the dead creates sincere legal and ethical issues. This Article explores in detail the new capabilities of artificial intelligence and the respective abilities of the common law right to privacy and the recently enacted New York postmortem right of publicity to address privacy issues arising from technological advances. While not conclusive per se, this Article address public policy concerns and contemplates how to best afford the dead protection in their persons, maintaining that North Carolina should adopt legislation enshrining a postmortem right of publicity.
Author: Weston Barker
Volume 24, Issue 3