James Dean died before he could ever tweet. Now, the iconic movie star is at the center of a potentially groundbreaking legal dispute against Twitter Inc., defending itself over its refusal to do anything about the anonymous individual who has registered @JamesDean. The lawsuit was engineered by CMG Worldwide, which manages the commercial estates of many dead celebrities and runs the Dean licensing empire.
James Dean would have turned 83 today. If he were still alive, perhaps he’d have a Twitteraccount. But instead, there’s just a fan account controlled by unknown owners with more than 8,000 followers. The management firm that controls Dean’s licensing empire thinks the account should be shut down and has sued Twitter over it the matter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company behind the lawsuit is CMG Worldwide, a firm that controls the commercial estates of a number of deceased celebrities. Its president, Mark Roesler, told The Hollywood Reporterthat the firm has asked Twitter to shut down @JamesDean for more than a year. After Twitter’s refusal to cooperate, the firm decided to go to court in Indiana, a state that has some of the most favorable-to-celebrities publicity rights laws.