When visiting Chicago’s Wiener’s Circle, expect to get a few insults thrown your way. And if a reality TV shows you humiliated? Then so be it. Customers at the late-night hot dog stand recently sued the Travel Channel, for $1 billion no less, for using them in some footage. But courts officially have ruled in favor of the TV network.
As a personal injury law blog explains it, this is a win for the reality TV show industry. The Illinois’ Right of Publicity Act only covers the rights of individuals if they are being used for commercial purposes.
According to the blog:
The judge sided with the Travel Channel and found that “a television show that features a Chicago restaurant nevertheless is a subject of general interest and of value and concern to the public.” Finding that the plaintiffs could not recover damages in the Travel Channel hot dog lawsuit, the judge concluded that “the risk of this exposure is an essential incident of life in a society which places a primary value of freedom of speech and of press.”
So what does this mean for all Chicago hot dog fans? Not much. But if you’re humiliated at Wiener’s Circle and the cameras are rolling, don’t expect a lawsuit to win you a free billion dollars.
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