A number of different lawsuits were filed against a variety of Massachusetts bars, nightclubs and establishments, as well as their owners and operators, accusing them of violating Section 43 of the Lanham Act by misappropriating the images of the plaintiff models without permission to falsely suggest that the plaintiffs were associated with the establishments – in many instances, suggesting that the plaintiffs were appearing at the establishments as strippers. According to the complaints, such acts constitute false and misleading representations of fact in commercial advertising and false or misleading use of a person’s image for commercial practices in violation of the Act. The complaints further assert that this use of the images constitutes a violation of each plaintiff’s statutory and common law rights of privacy, defamation, conversion, and violation of c. 93A.
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