For Sara RE: Midler’s Lawsuit 1988

The singer and actress Bette Midler brought a lawsuit against Young &
Rubicam, an advertising agency that had hired one of her former backup
singers to imitate Midler’s rendition of her 1973 hit “Do You Want to
Dance?” to promote Ford Motor Co.’s Mercury Sable car. Midler claimed that
the agency had stolen her voice. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit agree, holding that ‘when a distinctive voice of a professional
singer is widely known and deliberately imitated in order to sell a product,
the sellers have appropriated what is not theirs and have committed a tort
in California.” Midler v. Ford Motor Co., Inc. 849 F.2d 460, 463 (9th Cir.
1988).

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