(US-NY) Governor Signs Legislation Giving Deceased Rights for 40 Years (IAJGS Public Records Access Alert) – December 12, 2020

I saw this last night – (US-NY) Governor Signs Legislation Giving Deceased Rights for 40 Years (IAJGS Public Records Access Alert): To read the legislation see: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s5959/amendment/d. IAJGS Public Records Access Alert posted it to their mailing list yesterday. To view the list, you have to register on their list. You can register at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts. Read the instructions if you aren’t already on the list.

The IAJGS Records Access Alert previously reported about legislation giving deceased rights for 40 years (without prior authorization from their families or ownership of that person’s right to publicity), S 5959-d/A 5605-c. the use of a dead person’s image, voice, or signature must be done so with prior consent from that person’s family, unless the person in question had already contractually signed away use of their likeness to another party while still alive. The bill passed the Senate unanimously. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law on November 30.

The IAJGS Records Access Alert previously reported about legislation giving deceased rights for 40 years (without prior authorization from their families or ownership of that person’s right to publicity), S 5959-d/A 5605-c. the use of a dead person’s image, voice, or signature must be done so with prior consent from that person’s family, unless the person in question had already contractually signed away use of their likeness to another party while still alive. The bill passed the Senate unanimously. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law on November 30.

In signing the law Governor Cuomo said, “In the digital age, deceased individuals can often fall victim to bad actors that seek to capitalize on their death and profit off of their likeness after they pass away – that ends today…This legislation is an important step in protecting the rights of deceased individuals while creating a safer, fairer New York for decades to come.”

The law also stops providing protection for the unauthorized usage of a deceased person’s likeness 40 years after their death. Anybody who uses the likeness of a deceased person without prior authorization from their families, or without ownership of that person’s Right to Publicity, is capable of being sued for damages.

The new law stipulates that when a person dies, a person’s family member can file a claim for possession of the deceased person’s Right of Publicity with New York’s Secretary of State.

The second portion of the law focuses on providing legal recourse for those who fall victim to someone publishing pornographic material involving their likeness without their consent. This is meant to crack down on both revenge porn and deep fake porn.

The law is to be an amendment of several pre-existing New York Civil Rights laws that focus on New Yorkers’ rights to privacy, with the original sections of the law being first amended in 1903. According to the author State Senator Savino, the impetus for passing new amendments to these existing laws was the changes that new technology has brought to modern society.

To read more see: https://legislativegazette.com/new-law-updates-nyers-privacy-rights-adds-new-protections-against-revenge-porn/

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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