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Tyne v. Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP
Florida Supreme Court
901 So. 2d 802 (2005)
Sebastian Junger wrote The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, a book about a ship that was lost to a rare and devastating weather event. Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP (Warner) (defendant), doing business as Warner Brothers, purchased the rights to Junger’s book and made a heavily fictionalized film version, The Perfect Storm. However, Warner did not consult or attempt to compensate any of the individuals depicted in the film or those individuals’ family members. Children of two of the ship’s crewmen, Erica Tyne (plaintiff) and Dale Murphy (plaintiff), brought suit for violation of Florida’s commercial-misappropriation statute and false-light invasion of privacy. The court interpreted a key phrase from the 1967 statute—“for purposes of trade for any commercial or advertising purpose”—as applying only to publications that directly promote a product or service, thus excluding motion pictures. Summary judgment was granted in favor or Warner. Tyne and Murphy appealed. The Florida Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wells, J.)
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