By guest columnist Cleland Thom
You’ve heard the saying: you’re better off dead. Well, if you live in Massachusetts, you may well be.
The state’s senate has passed a law that gives people commercial image rights for 70 years after they die.
They can claim at least $1000, plus profits and costs, if someone makes money from their ‘name, image and personality’ after they die.
Seventy years is one of the longest durations in the US.
Dead people may find it an undertaking to make the claim. It’s expected that their heirs will do the work – and get the dosh.
The proposal needs Governor Deval Patrick’s sign-off to become law. He’s 58 and healthy, so shouldn’t be benefiting from the proposal himself any time soon.
Cleland Thom is director of CTJT, who provide distance learning journalism courses