Allen Toussaint Legacy Act aims to protect identity rights

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - New legislation passed this year works to protect identity rights in Louisiana, an effort to protect a person’s image and likeness.

The iconic Allen Toussaint, a New Orleans musician, songwriter and producer now has a law passed in his name.

Toussaint died in 2015 and this piece of legislation came about after his passing when his family found out his images were being used by a third party to sell merchandise and make a profit that didn’t benefit his family.

“After his passing, his family noticed that his name and likeness was being used to sell merchandise, and you saw this exploitation where this iconic local musician and artist who everybody loves and somebody’s profiting off of that,” Todd Dupler said.

Dupler, a Louisiana native, now works in Washington D.C. as the chief advocacy & public policy officer for The Recording Academy. Helping to improve the lives of artist and push for changes in legislation.

During the latest session in Baton Rouge, HB415 passed with bipartisan effort and then came the Allen Toussaint Legacy Act that protects against commercial exploitation. It stops the commercial use of a person’s identity without their permission.

“Loved ones of artist whenever they pass, have the right to approve or refuse image likeness and usage after the passing of the artist,” zydeco musician Sean Ardoin said.

Ardoin, a Louisiana native and three time Grammy nominated artist, said this allows him and other artists to always have control over their image.

“It’s intellectual property. You know, it comes down to intellectual property issues as well. And just the benefit of being able to have my family benefit from that long after I’m gone is why we do these things, for legacy,” Ardoin said.

It’s now required for a third party wishing to use an image and likeness of an individual to be first authorized by that person or gain permission from the person’s representative.

“It’s so important to protect Louisiana’s legacy and you know the legacy these artist leave behind,” Dupler said.

The act doesn’t only protect creatives and artists, it protects all individual in Louisiana from commercial exploitation.