Prince death sparks Minnesota bill to clarify artist rights

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — In the wake of Prince’s death, legislative committees in Minnesota are planning hearings to clarify the rights of artists to control the commercial use of their names, likenesses and images, and to extend those protections to their heirs.

Joel Leviton, an attorney for the law firm representing the special administrator of Prince’s estate, says legal precedents support the idea that artists have control of those things, but it’s not written into state statutes.

He says Minnesota courts also haven’t said whether such rights are inheritabl.

Prince died April 21 at age 57. A cause of death hasn’t been released and autopsy results are pending.

The hearings are scheduled for today and tomorrow.

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