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POSTHUMOUS RIGHTS: THE DECEASED AS LEGAL RIGHT-HOLDERS

POSTHUMOUS RIGHTS: THE DECEASED AS LEGAL RIGHT-HOLDERS

RIGHTS OF THE DEAD by Kirsten Rabe Smolensky*   (Page 8/41)

Interest Theory: Deceased Can Have Interest That Survive Death

Posthumous Rights of DeceasedAssume that a person dies and his neighbor spreads defamatory remarks about him. These remarks hurt the decedent’s reputation, regardless of whether he is alive and can become emotionally upset by the statements. The fact that he does not know about the harm does not mean that a harm to the decedent’s interest, namely his reputation, has not occurred.

One might respond that while the decedent’s reputation is harmed in this example, the decedent is not harmed because he cannot know about the defamatory comments after his death. But knowledge of a legal harm is not required for a legal harm to occur. Take, for example, a living landowner whose land is trespassed upon by a harmless trespasser without his knowledge. In this hypothetical, the landowner’s legal interest is harmed even if he never discovers the trespass. Similarly, even though a decedent will never know about any particular harm to his posthumous interests, that does not mean that a harm has not occurred or that such harm should not be protected against.

In ruling that Elvis Presley’s right of publicity survived his death, the New Jersey District Court said that “‘[i]f the right [of publicity] is descendible, the individual is able to transfer the benefits of his labor to his immediate successors and is assured that control over the exercise of the right can be vested in a suitable beneficiary.’” While the court notes that posthumous rights of publicity incentivize living persons to work hard, it also notes that it is important for individuals to be able to choose an appropriate beneficiary, presumably one who will exercise the right of publicity judiciously and in a way that protects the decedent’s interest in his reputation.

Others have also noted posthumous rights protect decedents’ interests. In discussing his efforts to enhance protections for deceased celebrities in California, the attorney for Marilyn Monroe LLC said: “Ms. Monroe expressed her desires in her will—that the Strasberg family should be the protectors of her persona. The enactment of this legislation helps ensure that the wishes of Ms. Monroe and all other deceased personalities will now be fully respected.”  What drives many posthumous rights is not only the recognition that some interests survive death, but also a desire to respect decedents’ wishes.

However, the realization that some interests survive death does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that all interests must or should survive death. For example, interests that “can no longer be helped or harmed by posthumous events,” such as a secret desire for personal achievement, die upon the death of the interest-holder. Minimally, the distinction between interests that survive death and those that die with the decedent turns on whether a record exists of the particular interest in question. The record could exist either in the mind of a surviving friend or family member, or it could be recorded in writing. But, if an interest is incapable of being known after death, then the law cannot protect it.

Furthermore, the simple fact that an interest survives death does not require that the law recognize this interest as a posthumous legal right. Theoretically someone could die with a certain set of interests written in a document, perhaps a will. These interests might include the desire to transfer assets to one’s children after death or the desire to have one’s flower garden tended in perpetuity. Given the wide range of posthumous interests that survive death in a philosophical sense, the law’s purpose is to choose which of these interests are worthy of legal recognition.

Interest Theorists make few suggestions about which surviving interests should be recognized as posthumous legal rights. This determination requires a theory about which sorts of posthumous rights should be recognized.

http://www.academia.edu/1079914/Do_we_have_moral_obligations_to_the_dead

http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1506&context=elr

Interests that survive death.

The right to have their estate governed as they requested

The right to privacy for their family members

Posthumous interest to protect name from being defamed via family, friends and in the case of artists their fans.

Posthumous right to constitutional free speech. If the living has the right to free speech those with an interest to the deceased should be able to speak for the decedents.

The decedents should have a posthumous right to protect and preserve their legacy through friends, family members or fans in the case of an artist.

An artists may desire that his or her artistic work survives him/her. In that case there has to be people who continue to support or buy the works. His/her fans would be responsible for maintaining that interest because they will continue to buy the product.

Right not to have sperm/viable eggs removed from body unless that request has been made, in writing, while living.

Right to safeguard reputations in cases of defamation and invasions of privacy.

Right to artistic creations, name and image

If death marks the end of conscious existence, shouldn’t it mark the end of legal existence as well?

The right of publicity to survive death: the right of an individual to control the commercial value of their name, image and likeness. The right of publicity was used by the singer Bette Midler to stop a car company from using a singer in a commercial who sang in a similar style to Midler and by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to stop an advertiser from using an Onassis look-alike. http://www.alternet.org/story/147332/how_dead_people_have_more_rights_than_you_do!

The deceased DO have INTEREST that survives death. They may be DEAD but they are not DONE. Let’s make sure those interest are respected and carried forward by supporting the AdLLaw Initiative. Sign the petition at:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-legacy-of

MJ Brookins, Advocate/AdLLaw Admin

 

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Death Is Big Business

Death Is Big Business

Death Is Big Business

The White Lion talks about the 2005 Michael Jackson trial and in particular talks about the behavior of the media during that time. He points out that the trial was “big business” for the media because they were all profiting from it.

The Wade Robson civil suit starts in 8 months. And again; it will be big business for the media. The behavior we saw from them in 2005 will be repeated. They will report exactly as they did in 2005 – only reporting the salacious testimonies and not reporting the cross- examination.

We have already seen a demonstration of how much the media have $$ in their eyes from the last week. Stories from the likes of Radar Online, Daily Mail and even Huffington Post have shown how they are rubbing their hands together in greed and glee at what will be a big money spinner for them.

Remember; as far as the media are concerned the truth will not bring them profit. The scandal and lies of Wade Robson & Jimmy Safechuck will. Yet again; they are trying to sway public opinion to persuade the public of Michael’s guilt because a “guilty” verdict means even more money for them.

This is why it is so important to act now! This is exactly why we are urging you to get involved in the AdLLaw Initiative and sign the petition to put a stop to this scandalous media behavior.

There are many concrete facts to support Michael’s innocence and none to support his guilt. Which do you think the media will go with? I think we all know the answer to that.

Act NOW and let’s stamp out the media lies for good. Sign the petition and share it with everyone you know. Together; we can protect Michael’s legacy from the greedy money-sucking leeches!

Support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing and sharing the AdLLaw Global Petition

 

Submitted by: Kerry Ward, MDF Admin

 

 

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Now Enough Is Too Much: Defaming The Dead

Now Enough Is Too Much.jpg1Now Enough Is Too Much.jpg2Now Enough Is Too Much.jpg3Now Enough Is Too Much.jpg4

Sign the petition

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-legacy-of

Contact the US President and both US Senator for your State:  Tell them you support the AdLLaw Initiative and wish them to endorse it so it may become law.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

S. Kendrick, Cadeflaw/AdLLaw Resolution Specialist – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 

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Where is the Justice?: Defaming the Dead

Where Is The Justice photo #1

If you are familiar with our Blogs, articles and videos where we explain the ways defamation affects a decedent’s legacy, hold on we have more information to share with you. If you are new to the AdLLaw Petition Initiative Blog, check below, there are links which will offer you other material.

This is our most comprehensive argument. Don’t worry, this is easy.

We are a society which has embraced more causes and the use of the Petition than any before us. Our inclusion in causes and signing the associated Petitions announce we are against crimes of bullying which produce physical and emotional harm, abuse of the helpless; the elderly; adults; children and animals. We say we diligently work to eradicate the many forms of discrimination and to see there is legal and social equality.

Due to televised Court Trials we are now third-party participants. We investigate and analyze testimony and evidence, make personal judgments, and we socially punish those we believe guilty and reward those believed innocent regardless of the jury’s verdict. We also discuss or work to change or add laws which we believe are not clear or comprehensive enough to insure there is justice for the victim, accuser or accused

When deciding on a crime which would frame this discussion there were many to select from. The two most powerful was theft and the crime of discrimination. Because, we have written several articles on how defamation robs a decedent of their legacy and their survivors of peace of mind, I settled on discrimination.

Where Is The Justice photo #2

Ok….. Moving on to “discrimination”, but first let’s lay to rest the fallacy that says a deceased person is no longer relevant and therefore, there is no need for this Anti-Defamation Initiative. The law says: A deceased person through their heirs or Estate will continue to pay taxes on investments or property they acquired. This makes them relevant.

If a decedent’s words and actions while alive are admissible as witness testimony or establishes eligibility to become a co-defendant then they are very relevant.

 If the law says a decedent is accountable for slander committed when alive then the decedent is highly relevant.

The words, previous actions and perceived character of a decedent are most relevant. It is those areas considered when determining which laws apply and recommending monetary judgments for or against them.

Discrimination and the Law:

Picture a person killed either by accident or with intent.  Are our laws to discriminate when it comes to seeking justice, because, they are persons who come from wealth, poverty, have body piercings, are famous or not, fashionable, heterosexual or gay, has tattoos or trousers worn very low?  Should justice be according to whom has a likable or unlikable personality, attended Prep School or no school, acted sober or silly, or someone whose religion, culture, physical features or manner-of-speech is in the minority? No our laws should not discriminate when it comes to the alleged victim and criminal, and their equal rights to justice.

Now …….For our BIG finale: Another excuse for not enacting this law is; “laws are for governing the living.”  AdLLaw will govern the living. Just as with any law it is first designed as a deterrent against unlawful activities and at last resort a tool to deal with crimes committed; in this case people who practice slander and become enriched through their crimes. It is for the survivors who have to bear the brunt of possible character assassination due to familial ties with the defamed decedent, and whose revenue or social status declines due to that defamation.

See, told you AdLLaw was for the living, that wasn’t hard at all now was it!

 Oh,…I almost forgot, if making it illegal to slander the dead would rob us of our First Amendment Rights then slander laws for the living would not exist either!

Where Is The Justice photo #3

If you think this discrimination which allows defamation of a decedent to go unchallenged is wrong then help do something to change that. If you think it is wrong to sue a decedent through their survivors or Estate, but not the other way around then help create the law which will change it. If a deceased person is “relevant” enough for all the above then they are “relevant” enough to have a law which protects them and their legacy from slander.

CHANGE IT. What’s sauce for one is …..Well, you know the rest. AdLLaw 

(Anti-Defamation Legacy Law)

Where Is The Justice photo #4

Sign The Petition

Contact Your U.S. Senators  Ask them to endorse the initiative

Contact the President. Ask him to endorse the initiative.

Contact family & friends. Ask them to do the same.

Check out our other material on this subject:

https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/2014/08/10/who-said-the-dead-cant-be-sued-for-defaming-the-living/

https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/2014/08/06/deceased-on-trial/

https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/2014/08/04/a-legacy-everyone-will-have-one-like-it-or-not/

S. Kendrick – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 

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Deceased on Trial

Deceased Defendant On Trial

S. Kendrick – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 
 

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A Legacy: “Everyone Will Have One Like It Or Not”

A person’s Legacy has much in common with a tree.  Some will be saplings others aged oak, but all can continue to grow and provide long after the person tending it has gone.

Each must weather their own type of elemental disturbances, endure tests of enforced glut and drought to insure they can thrive and survive.  When healthy, both can provide physical and emotional shelter and support during life’s torrents.  Seed from them can be the beginning of the new.  Depending upon need, both may be a social and economic mainstay; a source of creativity, inspiration, teaching and a way of validating an existence.

A Legacy like mature trees will bear varied fruits.  Drawing from an achievement, contribution or even a misstep will be according to a user’s specific objectives, ties, goals, tastes and intent.  

Each of us will leave something behind when we die, something you alone touched, so when people look upon it or think of you, you are there.

A Legacy Everyone Will Have Photo

You will be etched into the minds of others through the stories they share about you, pass on and hand down which becomes part of your Legacy.  You may diligently build your Legacy with the future in mind or be absent minded in its care, or unaware how significant it can be and to whom, but it is yours to fashion and the stories shared should be told according to your words and deeds, and none other.

Like with trees the unprincipled destruction of a Legacy robs future generations of its potential benefits.

There is no law against defaming the dead, and with that there is no way to protect their Legacy from being depreciated. Decedents can be sued through their representatives for defamation committed while alive and have a judgment placed against their Estate. The reverse is not possible.

To keep the unprincipled from vandalizing a Legacy and robbing those who can gain from it there must be a law to help protect the deceased from defamation and having the Legacy wrongly characterized.

Please support the CadeFlaw/AdLLaw Petition Initiative.  There are many laws which protect the deceased as they do the living against theft, except one, defamation.  Let’s change that.

Support Goals:

To have each supporter sign the petition. Contact your Senate Representatives and the President. Let each know you approve of this proposed law and wish them to endorse it as well. Make them aware of the Initiative by sending them the link to the petition which has the purpose and requirements plainly written out. Pass this information on to family, friends and associates and ask them to support as well. 

The Petition

Contact State Senators

Contact U.S. President

Photos from:  http://www.clker.com, www.thisoldyard.net,

Submitted By: S. Kendrick – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 
 

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Here Comes The Thief

You look up and see a thief. He is boldly walking up to your neighbor’s door. Maybe he intends to sneak through the back door. He is well known by many and by many names. You know either he intends to use guile to talk his way in or break into their house so he can steal a most prize possession from them.

Here Comes The Thief Photo 1

You have heard and read stories where he has stolen from others before.  Stories which tell of the emotional, mental, social and sometimes financial devastation left in his wake.   You know that for some strange reason he has the law on his side.  He legally has the right to steal.

Here Comes The Thief Photo 2

What can you do?  What will you do?   Will you ignore the situation, because it is not your house and therefore not your problem, or will you try to help a neighbor?  What will you do to help protect a decedent’s legacy and the sanity of their survivors from defaming the dead?

Here Comes The Thief Photo 3

You could sign a petition which makes it illegal to defame the dead.  A petition which if made law will give the survivors of a defamed decedent the right to address slander of the dead in a court of law.   Give the decedent’s survivors the right to have the slanderer stand before the courts and prove what they say with evidence or recant any falsehoods and pay for damages.

Here Comes The Thief Photo 4

THE PETITION:        http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-legacy-of

CONTACT YOUR US REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK FOR THEIR SUPPORT:     http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

CONTACT THE PRESIDENT & ASK FOR HIS SUPPORT:      http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call#write

S. Kendrick, Resolution Specialist – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 

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