So, poor Paris Hilton is suing Hallmark, for using her likeness and spoofing her trademarked (!) catchphrase on a greeting card design. (First off, the idea that she was allowed to trademark a phrase as generic as “That’s Hot” is, well, offensively absurd to Ms. Cards Etiquette, but that’s a rant for another day …) She’s claiming commercial appropriation of identity, invasion of privacy, misappropriation of publicity, false representation that Hilton endorses the product, and infringement of a federally registered trademark. *whew* Quite a mouthful there, isn’t it?
Now, as someone who’s worked in media in the past, I’m passingly familiar with parody and satire laws, which basically say if you’re a public figure, people are allowed to make fun of you. (Yes, of course it’s more complicated than that, but I’m an advice columnist, not an attorney, after all!) After reading up a bit on Paris’ latest grab for the headlines, I’m just hoping her attorney isn’t working on contingency, because Hallmark’s first public statement on the matter invoked both the words “parodies” and “satirical,” and I really can’t see how Ms. Hilton is going to get around it.
But the more interesting thing here, at least for me, isn’t the nitty-gritty legal details. No siree. It’s the fact that a woman who basically makes her living doing nothing but frantically grabbing for every shred of attention she possibly can actually has the nerve to sue someone for giving her some! The same woman who recently announced she wants to adopt four “disadvantaged” blonde girls and “raise them to be the most famous women in the world,” is throwing a hissy fit over a greeting card. To which all I have to say is, if you can’t stand the heat, you really shouldn’t have set the kitchen on fire, Paris. Now grow up, and leave space in the headlines for important news, will you dear?
(Oh, and leave those poor children alone while you’re at it. Even disadvantaged kids deserve a chance to lead a normal life!)