A free-for-all has erupted over the right to sell merchandise with Prince‘s mug.
We did some checking, and turns out there’s no particular law in Minnesota that protects a person’s image after he or she dies. Translation … when Prince passed away last week, there’s nothing in the law specifically prohibiting any Tom, Dick, or Harry from plastering Prince’s face on t-shirts, socks, posters, key chains and all things cheesy.
It’s way different from places like California and Tennessee, where courts and legislatures have given the estates of dead celebs the right to go after people who try and make a quick buck off famous images.
Fact is … Minnesota hasn’t been home to that many deceased international celebs, so it looks like the courts have never had to deal with protection of images after death.
As a result, there are a bunch of fly-by-night companies that are hawking R.I.P. Prince gear.
We’re told Prince’s siblings are aware people are profiting off Prince’s image, and they’re considering filing a test case. It’s unclear how the Minnesota courts will rule, but for now it’s the Wild Wild West in the Midwest.