by Betsy Gomez
On June 12, 2012, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch vetoed S.B. 175, a senate bill that would have made it illegal to use an individual’s likeness for 70 years after his or her death. This week, the New Hampshire Senate voted on the bill again in an attempt to override the governor’s veto. Only 13 of the 16 votes needed to override the veto were obtained, so the veto was upheld.
S.B. 175 was written in collaboration with Matt Salinger, the son of JD Salinger. Matt Salinger sought to stop the commercial use of his father’s likeness, but the bill raised concerns among Free Speech advocates because it did not include exemptions for artistic expression. Shortly before the veto, the Media Coalition sent a letter to Governor Lynch in opposition to the bill. CBLDF is a member of the Media Coalition, and comic book artists would have been held to the bill’s tenants had it passed. You can read previous CBLDF coverage of the bill and its genesis here.
This likely isn’t the last that we’ve seen of S.B. 175 or a bill similar to it. It appears likely that the Salinger estate will continue to work with New Hampshire lawmakers in an effort to protect JD Salinger’s likeness. CBLDF will be keeping an eye on this ongoing story.
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Betsy Gomez is the Web Editor for CBLDF.