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Allen Toussaint Legacy Act addresses personal publicity rights in Louisiana law

Marina Biragova SULC.jpeg
Southern University Law Center
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Marina Biragova at her desk at SULC’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Clinic.

On today’s episode of Louisiana Considered: What do beer koozies, Allen Toussaint and intellectual property law have to do with each other? Also, a conversation with Jessie Haynes of the Helis Foundation about the organization’s efforts to restore an abstract art installation along the Poydras Corridor that was damaged when Hurricane Ida hit the state almost one year ago. This episode originally aired on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. To hear the full episode, click the play button above.

The Allen Toussaint Legacy Act was signed into law earlier this year. It seeks to protect the rights of individuals to commercially use their image and likeness. It came about after beer koozies with Allen Toussaint’s image printed on them showed up at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival following his death — even though Toussaint wasn’t exactly available to say whether he was OK with this appropriation of his image.

On Wednesday's segment, we analyze the Allen Toussaint Legacy Act with Marina Biragova, business and intellectual property attorney and executive director of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Clinic at Southern University Law Center. We ask who benefits from this law, what the potential liabilities are for artists and businesses, what parts of intellectual property law the legislation addresses, and what remains ambiguous two months after the act was signed into law.

Also, we speak with Jessie Haynes of The Helis Foundation about a colorful sculpture that’s returning to the corner of Poydras and Loyola in New Orleans. The beloved “Box of Artificial Flowers #6” by the late abstract artist Ida Kohlmeyer has been restored after damages from Hurricane Ida.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubry Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is also frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.
Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.