• May 27, 2010
If Albert Einstein were alive today, he'd be very old and quite wealthy. In fact, the world famous scientist still banks about $10 million per year solely from corporations purchasing one-time rights to his likeness. Einstein has been dead since 1955, but an institution is still collecting money on his behalf, and there is a rather substantial price to pay to use his likeness. Just ask General Motors.
The Detroit News reports that The General is being sued by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for $75,000 over a fall, 2009 print ad that contained Einstein's likeness without the school's blessing. The ad, which appeared in the September issue of People Magazine, features Einstein's head Photoshopped onto the body of a young, muscular guy with the tagline "Ideas are sexy, too."

But while the Hebrew University feels it has an open-and-shut case, GM claims that it purchased the rights to Einstein's image from a reputable firm. GM spokesperson Ryndee Carney told the DetNews that the company guarantees that clients have rights to use the images selected.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Instead of ol' Albie's likeness, GMC should have just parodied the relativity equation

      WEEEE!=GMC^2

      ...or something like that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am not going to say it.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ha! Neither am I, but you know we are all thinking it!
      • 4 Years Ago
      How can you "own" the image of a dead human? Seems to be that once you're dead you're fair game. Who owns the image of Gerald Finzi?
        • 4 Years Ago
        i think you are allowed to use his pictures as long as you don't intend to make a profit out of that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's hot. If GM releases this so-called reputable firm's name, I'd like to commission a Rosalind Franklin piece...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not so P3. Just check out the Forbes list of dead celebs earnings.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM spokesperson Ryndee Carney told the DetNews that the company guarantees that clients have rights to use the images selected... [but failed to mention the company to back up their assertions].
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Not that I disagree, but someone should tell that to British Petrolleum."

        Have no fear, the savior announced today he is going to take charge of the situation.

        Whew. I feel better now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's really not proper business etiquette. You don't just start pointing fingers and drag another company's name through the mud. It really wouldn't help GM any to do that, and it would just hurt relations with this other company.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If this is true, then GM can pass on the liabilty to this "reputable firm".
        • 4 Years Ago
        yup, so why not mention them, which is the odd part here :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lay off of the anti-Semitism already.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, at least it's an American company that wants to own his rights and not a German one :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I didn't know that The Hebrew University of Jerusalem owns Albert Einstein. That must mean that you can become an institution's property?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder who owns the rights to Elvis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hey GM's getting smarter
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