|Dear Friends: Recently I have received several e-mails from fans of my father’s who seem to have misunderstood the outcome of our law suit against Universal Studios. As you probably already know, the Settlement we reached with them is confidential. We are delighted to have the problem behind us, and even more delighted not to have had to endure a long and costly trial. Simply to be still standing at the end of taking on a mega-monster is remarkable in itself, to be smiling at the end is even more remarkable.In a separate Summary Judgment any question regarding my position as the legally registered rights holder under California statute was resolved in my favor. I retain all rights to the likeness of my father,Boris Karloff. This is most signifcant in that it allows me to maintain an appropriate standard of good taste when my father’s likeness is used. That has always been a primary concern and objective of the family.
I have recently read an article in Famous Monsters which did not seem to explain either the real purpose of our lawsuit, or the importance of the protection the California statute provides families when a likeness is used. If any of you has any questions about these issues, I would be delighted to try to answer them.
Before you accept any depiction of celebrity family members as greedy, unreasonable and unappreciative of the importance of the fans, please do 2 things. First, ask yourself how you would feel if a family member of yours could be depicted in any fashion, by any one, without your consent and approval. Second, I would ask you to talk with me or any other celebrity’s family member about the importance of the protection provided by California statutes.
Although I control the likeness rights to my father, both in and out of makeup, and will continue to license its use, in the future the licensing of my father in the roles of Frankenstein and The Mummy, from the four 1930’s films, will be handled by Universal Studios. A separate license from the family will not be required. It is my hope that this will simplify the licensing process for future licensees. However, please let me know if you have any questions or problems regarding licensing of these images. I am very grateful to our attorney, Miles Feldman, of Browne & Woods, Beverly Hills, for his outstanding legal efforts on my behalf, for his remarkable patience with his often near hysterical client (me), and his continuing good humor throughout this most trying experience. As my father would have said: “FULL MARKS, MILES”. I cannot recommend his services highly enough .(This is NOT a paid commercial)
I want to thank all of you who offered your support and help throughout this most unpleasant ordeal. The letters and calls we received were of immense help in keeping our resolve strong. Thank you from my entire family.
|KARLOFF PHOTO DISPUTE SETTLED; NO TEST CASE FORTHCOMINGThe post-mortem celebrity rights case over pictures of late horror film star Boris Karloff will not become a test case after all, as the lawsuit brought by the actor’s daughter, Sara Karloff, has settled. She had sued Universal Studios for more than $10 million in February, claiming the studio wrongly licensed images of her father to third parties for advertisements and merchandise. Before his death in 1969, Karloff starred in 170 films, including Frankenstein and The Mummy. Last month, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge made a ruling in favor of Karloff that, if appealed, would likely have set a precedent in litigation where families fight to control the images of their famous and deceased loved ones. But on December 14, eight days after the key decision, the two sides reached a confidential settlement. The judge ordered the reporter’s transcripts of the settlement talks sealed, according to the court file. Calls left for Karloff’s and Universal’s attorneys Wednesday were not returned.