Midler v. Ford Motor Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
849 F.2d 460 (1988)
Ford Motor Co. (Ford) (defendant) aired a commercial in which they had a Bette Midler (plaintiff) “sound alike” sing one of Midler’s songs. Ford had permission from the song’s copyright owner, but not from Midler. The commercial did not use Midler’s name or any picture or video of her. Midler brought suit against Ford for misappropriation of her likeness. During discovery many witnesses stated that they thought it was Midler singing in the commercial. Nevertheless, the district court awarded summary judgment to Ford, finding that there was no legal ground on which it could find for Midler. Midler appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Noonan, J.)
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