Val Corbett Head of the Law School Independent College Dublin, Ireland

Val Corbett has been the Head of the Law School at Independent College Dublin, Ireland since 2007. He graduated with BCL and LLM degrees from the National University of Ireland, Cork in 1997 and 1998 respectively. He completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2008. He is a qualified mediator (CEDR) and is a PhD degree Candidate at Trinity College Dublin. He is a council member of the Irish Association of Law Teachers (IALT). His principal research has been concerned with the law of torts, personality rights and employment law. He has published in a number of Irish and international peer-reviewed journals in these fields. He has also published a number of student texts in the Law of Torts and has co-authored Employment Law in Ireland (Clarus 2009).

The right of publicity and the search for principle

Modern technology and social media in particular has presented modern celebrities and sports’ stars with opportunities to increase their earning power by relying on celebrity endorsements of various products and services. So much so that many of these ‘stars’ now earn much more from such endorsements than from what initially made them famous. Yet the legal protection afforded to the individual in his or her ‘image’ is patchy at best and the extent and nature of protection varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This paper examines the philosophical basis for such protection and, with particular emphasis on the Irish and other European jurisdictions, makes a case for protecting these rights as rights in property resting on the personality of the individual.