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How does an artist go about obtaining permission to use a delebs (dead celebrity) image?

New York, NY |

The celebrity in question is Marilyn Monroe. The picture that the artist wishes to do is from the movie Some Like it hot. The image is of Marilyn in the berthing compartment as she turns her head in response to Jack Lemon's character wishing her goodnight. We have no idea who to contact to get permission to "reproduce" this image as a charcoal drawing. It would not be for mass production, or anything other than a singular work of art for sale. Please advise. Thank you

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

You will need to speak with MGM to get permission, because MGM owns the copyright in Some Like It Hot. I have attached a link below.

You will also need to get permission from the Estate of Marilyn Monroe for Marilyn's likeness rights.

The foregoing response is provided for general informational purposes only and is not a solicitation for business. Please retain an attorney if you need specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established until both you and me agree to establish one, and neither transmission of information herein, nor the receipt of such information, constitutes an agreement to establish an attorney-client relationship.

Joseph Sampson Ford Jr

Joseph Sampson Ford Jr


Addendum to my above answer: Marilyn's publicity rights are less clear, because one appellate court has ruled that they belong to the public -


The litigation surrounding this celebrity is active and in flux. Just take a look at this suit that is still going on.

Is this a frame of film from the movie or a picture taken by a photographer on set? If it is a movie still, it might be owned by the movie producer. If it is an on set photograph, these guys might own it.

Consult with an attorney before entering into any sort of licensing agreement.

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