In the past decade, drag queen fame has skyrocketed due to increased exposure and the proliferation of fandom social media, where many drag ’performers glitter and thrive. Drag performers are booming, building increasingly-valuable entertainment personae. With success comes imitation and appropriation by free riders—and there are some indications that misappropriation of drag queen creativity has already started to occur. Intellectual property law provides limited protections against those who would misappropriate and infringe upon a drag queen’s image.

Filling this void, however, is a patchwork of lesser-known state-law intellectual property rights clocked as the “right of publicity.” But no court has addressed whether the right of publicity extends to drag queen personae. Nevertheless, in this article, Kyle Kroll provides an analysis of precedent to-date that suggests there is a strong basis for extending legal protections to all aspects of a drag performer’s stage identity and persona.

Read the article Drag Queens Right of Publicity Article – OUTside Influence Fall 2020 (Dec. 18 2020).

December 18, 2020