Last month, a new class action lawsuit was filed in California federal district court against the maker of the app “Reface,” which allegedly allows users to swap their face onto that of a celebrity in images and videos. The plaintiff in the case, Kyland Young, was a finalist on the reality TV show Big Brother. He alleges that Reface allows users to “become” him and to recreate his scenes from the show with their face in place of his. Young alleges that in doing so, the defendant is commercially exploiting his likeness without his permission in violation of California’s right of publicity statute. Young asserts the claim on behalf of a putative class of “[a]ll California residents whose name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness was displayed on [the] Reface application . . .” Young does not allege how many likenesses were available for use on Reface, but he does allege they are enough to satisfy Rule 23’s numerosity requirement. See Young v. NeoCortext, Inc., Case No. 2:23-cv-02496 (C.D. Cal.).
Zach Glasser is an associate in the firm’s commercial litigation and class actions practice groups. He has experience in a wide range of litigation matters—including intellectual property, media, contracts, consumer protection, government investigations, and mass torts—primarily representing media, entertainment, and technology companies. He also maintains an active pro bono practice. Prior to rejoining Covington, Zach clerked for Judge Dolly M. Gee on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.