Local TV v. Super. Ct.Annotate this Case
Kurt Knutsson is a technology reporter who created “Kurt the CyberGuy” video segments for use on television news programs and station websites. Knutsson and his company, Woojivas, Inc., entered into a written agreement with Los Angeles television station KTLA. Pursuant to the agreement, website material Knutsson created was distributed to the websites of certain television stations in other cities, including those of stations owned and operated by LTV. At issue is whether, for purposes of the common law tort of misappropriation of name and likeness, plaintiffs consented to LTV’s use of the CyberGuy material, including placing links to it on webpages along with links to material created by a reporter who was hired following the termination of Knutsson’s contract. The court concluded that plaintiffs cannot demonstrate lack of consent to LTV’s use of the CyberGuy material, so summary judgment in favor of LTV was warranted on the common law misappropriation of name and likeness cause of action. This determination requires that plaintiffs also cannot prevail on the two other causes of action at issue. Accordingly, the court concluded that the trial court erred in denying summary judgment to LTV and granted LTV's petition.