Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is being sued by the licensing firm that handles James Dean. There is a fake James Dean Twitter account that has over 8,000 followers.
Dean’s licensing firm, CMG Worldwide, believes that the account should be shut down. CMG is also known for managing the commercial estates of several deceased celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Andy Kaufman, Dudley Moore, Redd Foxx, John Belushi, Chuck Berry, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Joe Louis, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, “Smoky” Joe Wood, Jackie Robinson, Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, Amelia Earhart, and Malcolm X.
CMG President Mark Roesler told The Hollywood Reporter that they asked Twitter for over a year to shut down the @JamesDean account for over a year. Since Twitter did not cooperate with the shutdown, CMG filed a lawsuit in Indiana. The state of Indiana has a history of being favorable to celebrity publicity laws.
CMG said that the account damages the Dean estate and is asserting trademark infringement, false endorsement, unfair competition, conversion and violation of the Indiana Crime Victim’s Act. Twitter has a policy of controlling fan accounts. Fan, parody, and commentary accounts should not have the “exact name of the account subject.” The parody accounts are supposed say that they are not an official account in the bio as well.