Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis Aaron Presley

ALL PHOTOS, ARC Identifier: 1178
- Photographs of President Nixon and Elvis Presley, 12/21/1970
- There are 28 Elvis-Nixon photos, shot by Nixon's chief photographer, Ollie Atkins, on December 21, 1970.
- They are identified as Roll 5364, frames 02 through 23. and Roll 5369, frames 12a through 17a.
- The photos on Roll 5364 depict Nixon, Elvis, and Nixon staffer Egil Krogh.
- Roll 5369 photos depict Nixon, Elvis and Elvis' bodyguards.
- The famous photograph is item number 5364-18.

ROLL 5364 ARC Identifier: 194703 Richard M. Nixon Meeting with Elvis Presley, 12/21/1970

ROLL 5369 ARC Identifier: 194704, President Richard M. Nixon Meeting Elvis Presley And Two of His Associates, Jerry Schilling And Sonny West, 12/21/1970


The photographs included in this exhibit were taken by a White House photographer and transferred to the National Archives as part of the materials under the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act.

Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974

As the work product of a U.S. Government photographer, the National Archives considers these images to be ineligible for copyright protection, per 17 U.S.C. 105 (

These images are directly impacted by the decision issued was by the Southern District of New York in the case of Shaw Family Archives Ltd. v. CMG Worldwide, Inc ., No. 05 Civ. 3939 (CM), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35674 (S.D.N.Y. May 2, 2007). Marilyn Monroe's estate, MMLLC, and its licensing agent, CMG, against The Shaw Family Archives ("SFA").

The Court found that at the time of Monroe's death in 1962, postmortem rights of publicity were not recognized in the States of record.

However The use of a deceased celebrity's name, image, voice and/or likeness may not be used to give false endorsement under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits, the use of any name, symbol, or device which is likely to deceive or cause consumers to be confused as to the source, sponsorship, approval or association of a party's goods or services. In false endorsement cases, the celebrity's persona or identity functions as a "trademark." Death Pays: The Fight Over Marilyn Monroe's Publicity Rights

As to this image Elvis Presley died August 16, 1977 (age 42) in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Tennessee did not recognize postmortem publicity rights until 1984. This copyright free image may be used for any purpose including commericial that does not confuse source, sponsorship, approval or association.

editors note: while no copyright is associated with these PUBLIC DOMAIN images these two points are relevant:
  • Privacy rights protect living people from unauthorized use of their image that is intrusive or embarrassing. As John and Barbara Schultz point out that: “Photographs of private persons, who are not celebrities or public figures, can be published without their consent only in an editorial context. Even editorial use is perilous, however, if any individual who is depicted is held libeled, held up to ridicule, or misrepresented." Picture Research: A Practical Guide, by John Schultz and Barbara Schultz (N.Y.: Van Nostrand, 1991), p. 226. [call number: TR147.S38 1991 P&P]
  • Publicity rights protects a person’s right to benefit from the commercial value connected with an individual’s name, image, or voice. John and Barbara Schultz point out that: " Not all well-known people have a right of publicity, since not all of them profit from the commercialization of their celebrity. Politicians, for instance, do not ordinarily require payment for the use of their images, although they are public figures ... As a rule, the right to publicity is enforced for commercial reproduction of the name or likeness of a celebrity, under the conditions outlined. The editorial use of a photograph of a celebrity, so long as it does not violate other laws concerning libel or slander, requires only the release of the holder of the copyright in the photograph." Picture Research: A Practical Guide, by John Schultz and Barbara Schultz (N.Y.: Van Nostrand, 1991), p. 225-6. [call number: TR147.S38 1991 P&P]

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