Do you and your special someone want The King of Rock n’ Roll to marry you during an Elvis Presley-themed wedding in Las Vegas?
Well, there may be some “Crying in the Chapel.”
Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a brand management company holding Elvis Presley’s licensing and merchandising rights, reportedly sent cease-and-desist letters to wedding chapels in the Las Vegas area.
Those iconic Elvis-themed weddings apparently infringe on The King’s rights.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the demands were sent last month and chapels had until May 27 to comply. But as of two days ago, no venues apparently received any follow-up.
According to the LVRJ:
ABG intends to stop the unauthorized use of (quoting from the company’s document) “Elvis Presley’s name, likeness, voice image, and other elements of Elvis Presley’s persona in advertisements, merchandise, and otherwise.”
Ah, yes. Unauthorized.
So, a wedding chapel wanting to use Elvis Presley’s name and likeness for its services and merchandise probably can — for a price. (I’m guessing it’s not cheap.) But I wonder then if Elvis impersonators must obtain separate licenses. And then there’s the whole issue of licensing songs for use.
It sounds like a pretty good racket if you ask me.
The LVRJ reports that Shaquille O’Neal is an ABG investor. Of course, he is. What doesn’t Shaq own a piece of? (Shaq: contact us directly for Eye of the Flyer spokesperson and ownership opportunities 😉 ).
LVRJ‘s John Katsilometes points out, “The timing of ABG’s action falls just before the heavily hyped Baz Luhrmann biopic Elvis is released June 24. That film is certain to regenerate interest in Presley’s career, especially the opportunity to be married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator.”
If you think the timing is coincidental, I’d love to sell you a ski mountain resort timeshare in Fargo, North Dakota.
But I bet chapels can get creative and think of other ways to implement Elvis-themed weddings. Like, use a performer who bears a striking resemblance to Elvis — but not too much. (Maybe the full leisure sure begs for trouble.)
What do you think?
Is ABG operating with Suspicious Minds? Is it going too far? Or just protecting its client’s estate and going after companies infringing on Elvis’ name and likeness? (Legal professionals in the group, I’d especially love to hear your thoughts.)
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