Q: I was used in a SAG commercial without contract or knowledge. Huge company ran it worldwide for years. Legal theories?
If you were used in a SAG commercial without a contract or knowledge, you may have legal claims against the company for unauthorized use of your image and likeness, which can violate your right of publicity. You may also have claims for breach of contract, as the commercial was produced without a contract between you and the company, and for failure to pay you for your services as a SAG actor.
In addition to these legal claims, there may be other laws that were violated, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. For example, there may be state or federal laws regarding deceptive advertising, unfair competition, or consumer protection that could apply.
It may be helpful to consult with an attorney who specializes in entertainment law or intellectual property law to assess your legal options and the potential damages you may be entitled to. An attorney can also help you negotiate with the company or pursue legal action if necessary.
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Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for unauthorized use for commercial purposes or the common law tort of invasion of privacy is 2 years from the date of the first publication. Thus, it is likely those claims are time barred.
Assuming you are a SAG member and it is a SAG contract, there may be rights under the collective bargaining agreement. You should speak with a SAG representative about your rights.
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