The heirs of James Dean filed a court procedure against Twitter. The Twitter account @JamesDean has not been transferred to the heirs despite of several requests. This account has more than 8000 followers. The account shows the picture left and the description “The King of Cool” (Not associated with James Dean, Inc.).
According to the heirs this is trademark infringement and also an infringement of the exclusive right of publicity concerning James Dean. Especially this publicity point is painful: the heirs work with CMG Worldwide and probably earn good money with merchandising and licensing of the name and portrait of James Dean.
And the user of the account? Well, with the help of Twitter we exactly know what he thinks. He is of the opinion that the whole case is a violation of the freedom of expression. And: “James Dean was a wise ass who gave his finger to the system, and I can certainly understand why.”
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”