ILNews

Fishers company loses Marilyn Monroe court appeal

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CMG Worldwide, an intellectual property licensing firm in Fishers, has lost a federal court appeal related to ownership of iconic images of Marilyn Monroe.

The appeal stems from a decision in March 2008 by a federal judge in California, who determined that CMG and client Marilyn Monroe LLC didn’t own rights of publicity in that state because the famous actress didn’t reside in that jurisdiction at the time of her death in 1962.

The two had sued photography studios in California and Oregon in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, claiming they were violating copyrights by using Monroe’s image.

The case was transferred to a federal court in California and consolidated with a similar suit involving another photographer.

Marilyn Monroe and CMG appealed, and the appeals court on Thursday affirmed the earlier decision.

In their ruling, the judges said: “We observe that the lengthy dispute over the exploitation of Marilyn Monroe’s persona has ended in exactly the way that Monroe herself predicted more that fifty years ago: ‘I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.’”

Monroe licensing fees typically raked in more than $30 million annually prior to 2008, with CMG pocketing about a quarter of that amount.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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