Cynthia Blake Sanders, an intellectual property lawyer who teaches entertainment and sports law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, told The Baltimore Sun that celebrities have the right to decide how their names and images are used commercially.
“You can’t make the commercial use of a person’s name on any product, but particularly not [with] people who have a value on their persona,” said Sanders.
“If they called it Ozzy and it wasn’t so clearly a sort of heavy-metal styling, somebody might connect it with a different Ozzy,” she said. “But when they’ve used both his tattoo, in addition to his hands” and the bat imagery, “that’s really using a great deal of his persona.”
During its short time on the shelves, the “Ozzy” beer was acclaimed by brew enthusiasts, with the drink getting a 90 out of 100 rating on the Beer Advocate web site.
Ozzy and BLACK SABBATH will hit the road this Monday (March 31) for a North American tour that begins in Brooklyn, New York and spends most of its time in Canada, before wrapping up in Los Angeles on April 26.