Friday, July 06, 2007

The Simpson Book

A friend and author, Lila Guzman, sent me an email yesterday. She thought I might want to look into the story that the Goldman family has acquired the rights to OJ Simpson’s book, If I Did It. I hadn’t heard about it, so I did some research.

Apparently, according to USAToday and a lot of other sources, the story’s true. Everyone has their own opinion as to whether OJ Simpson killed Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. This blog entry isn’t about that.

What I found interesting was that the Goldmans didn’t just obtain the right to publish the book, which they apparently intend to do under the title of Confessions of a Double Murderer, they bought much more.

The British paper, The Telegraph, said:
''Ron Goldman LLC will own Simpson's name, likeness, signature and story and will hawk it to satisfy this terrible judgment,'' their lawyer, David Cook, said.
The USAToday paper confirmed this, but added a bit more detail:
The Goldmans own the copyright, media rights and movie rights. They also acquired Simpson's name, likeness, life story and right of publicity in connection with the book, according to court documents.
If you carefully read the above statement, it appears they only have the right to use his likeness as it is connected to the book. I guess that would be required for this kind of book where the main “character” of the book is OJ Simpson, a real person. When I first read it, though, it made me stop and think. A bankruptcy trustee can sell not just your book that’s part of the bankruptcy, but also your likeness. Makes you sit back and take notice.

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