Jackson v. Odenot, No. 09-cv-05583 (S.D.N.Y. filed March 24, 2014) [Doc. 150].
Rapper 50 Cent was granted summary judgment on his claims against a website for the unauthorized use of photographs that appeared on the masthead of the website. 50 Cent's claim for copyright infringement was based on a registration for a sound recording which included the relating artwork/photos, and exact copies were used by the defendants. 50 Cent's claim under New York state law for the right of publicity (Civil Rights Law sections 50-51) succeeded because: (1) the pictures "are recognizable likenesses of Jackson because someone familiar with Jackson would be able to identify him in each of the mastheads", and (2) defendants' waived their statute of limitations defense. However, the Court found that there were questions of fact that precluded summary judgment on 50 Cent's claim under the Lanham Act for false endorsement, 15 USC 1125(a)(1), and also on his claim for common law unfair competition. The Court did dismiss the defendants' affirmative defenses of fair use, implied license, equitable estoppel, and unclean hands, and found that the other affirmative defenses had been abandoned. Lastly, the Court held that defendant could not recover on a contribution theory under copyright and trademark law against the third-party defendants, but could seek contribution under the New York state claims.