Hebrew University Sue General Motors

Jerusalem’s Hebrew University has filed a lawsuit against the American automotive giant General Motors over an advertisement containing a likeness of Albert Einstein.

Einstein willed the University his publicity rights, and has been generating royatlies for them since his depth in 1955.

GM ran a four-page ad in People magazine last fall, that included a photo of a shirtless model with Einstein’s face, and a tattoo on his shoulder reading “E=MC2”. On a separate page, the GMC Terrain was featured with the slogan “Ideas can be sexy too”. The ad was created especially for People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue.

According to suit filed by Adv. Antoinette Waller on behalf of the university, “the tattooed, shirtless image of Dr. Einstein with his underpants on display is not consummate with and causes injury to [the university’s] carefully guarded rights in the image and likeness of the famous scientist, political activist, and humanitarian,”.

Forbes magazine ranked Einstein as the fourth most lucrative famous dead people in 2008, with profits of some $18 million a year.

Categories: Academia, Fair Use, famous marks, Intellectual Property, Israel IP, Jewish

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