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Friday 15 January 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Diego Maradona: an image that sells


Today’s news (el Nuevo Herald) refers to Maradona, one of the world greatest footballers – a legend, who is preparing to open his own cable TV and internet.

The launch is taken place in Mexico, and Cavalti, one of his partners in this project, said that the programmes will mainly focus in sports, entertainment, fashion and celebrities. He also mentioned that the revenues will come from subscriptions and through advertising and sponsorships.

The channel will carry Maradona’s image and be called ‘10 ETV’. The name comes from his famous T-shirt number and the letter E referring to entertainment. Maradona, himself will have few shows.

For those of you who follow football know that Maradona will be coaching the Argentinean team in the World Cup. And for those of you who have followed his career know that he is known as an outspoken person and quite controversial. In 2005 he hosted a TV program in Argentina called ‘La noche del 10" in which he interviewed Pelé, Mike Tyson, Fidel Castro and Robbie Williams winning all rankings.

While many IP practitioners and academics still debate the protection of ‘personality rights’ and/or ‘celebrity image’ one thing is certain, celebrity’s images are exploited and they are profitable. This technique, long used, allows a person or company (in this case it will be the TV channel and internet) to take advantage of Madona’s image. Clearly it will be used to promote and sell these services.

This type of right comprised two matters: one which is the right to publicity and the other, the right to privacy. I will focus on the first. With the World Cup coming up, I wonder how Maradona can keep his image and likeness from being commercially exploited by other channels, specifically those in Argentina. Certainly, there is a fine line. However, it is clear that Maradona cannot create a monopoly right in his popularity. In another line, where does the Argentinian channel in which Maradona recorded programs stands? can it keep repeating the programs and perhaps marketing his image?

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia


Write comments
20 January 2010 at 22:31 delete

It seems as if one of the administrators erased my comment about Diego Maradona and his cheating ways to achieve all that he had achieved in soccer (ephedrine doping), which is a fact. I also commented on Maradona being far inferior in skills compared to Pelé and other South American players. No profanity or obscenity was used in my comment. Why was it erased?

20 January 2010 at 22:44 delete

The reason why your earlier post was erased was that, following a discussion between the members of the IP Tango blogging team, we felt that your post was of insufficient relevance to intellectual property law -- which is what this weblog is here for.

Deletion of your post should not be seen as a sign of either approval or endorsement of Mr M who is, as I am sure you are aware, as unpopular in some places as he is popular in others on account of his well-documented activities.