Local TV, LLC v. Superior Court

Trial court erred in denying summary judgment to defendant in misappropriation case, since defendant showed uncontradicted evidence that plaintiff had signed a contract consenting to the challenged use of his name and likeness.  Plaintiff Knutsson, the CyberGuy, signed a contract with KTLA, granting KTLA ownership of Knutsson’s videos of his CyberGuy shows.  The contract granted broad rights to KTLA in the use of CyberGuy material.  This decision holds that the trial court erred in denying Local TV summary judgment against Knutsson’s complaint that it had misappropriated his material.  Local TV acquired its rights in the CyberGuy material from KTLA and didn’t exceed the scope of the consent that Knutsson had given KTLA.  Local TV didn’t falsely claim that Knutsson endorsed it or its successor tech guy by simply listing links to both on the same webpage.  Nor did Local TV claim ownership in Knutsson’s material.  So Local TV’s summary judgment motion should have been granted on the showing Knutsson consented to what he claimed was the misappropriation.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5 (Raphael, J., sitting by assignation); September 2, 2016; 2016 WL 4578645


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