“Milkaholic” Lindsay is Lawyering Up Again
Apparently, Lindsay Lohan, aka LiLo, is suing E*Trade for $100 million, for airing a commercial that features a “milkaholic” baby named Lindsay which is causing her “mental distress”, according to MTV.com.
Of course LiLo would have everyone believe that she can pull off same celebrity status as Oprah and Madonna who are known by their first names only. It makes one wonder what she is thinking filing such a loser of a lawsuit?
According to the NYPost.com, even Lohan’s attorney says the “spot was a parody” and as a result most likely qualifies as a transformative use. Let’s draw our attention to Paris Hilton’s recent lawsuit against Hallmark for selling a greeting card parodying “Paris’ First Day as a Waitress.” As described by EpsteinBeckerGreen (PDF), a 9th Circuit opinion recently declared that Hallmark could raise a transformative defense on a celebrity likeness claim. Let’s clarifies some legal terms here–the test is whether the product containing the celebrity likeness is so transformed that it has become primarily the defendant’s own expression rather than the celebrity’s likeness.
I can say that E*Trade probably has a pretty good shot at this defense since there really is no “celebrity likeness” in this case, unless Lindsay is still in diapers (who knows)?? E*Trade claims that the name “Lindsay” was used to pay tribute to a staff member on the account. Lindsay Lohan, who spent a brief time in jail for drunk driving, is claiming that everyone is talking about how the E*Trade baby is really her.
If the baby was called “Oprah” or “Madonna” it would be a bit different, but Lindsay is a rather common name—I know many Lindsays who didn’t think the ad was about them—LiLo should check her inflated ego at the door.