Chapels can no longer use Elvis’s image and likeness for Las Vegas weddings, according to cease-and-desist letters obtained by CNN.
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) asked Vegas Weddings and Viva Las Vegas Weddings to stop conducting The King-themed weddings because they are infringing on intellectual property rights owned by Elvis’s estate and creating “the false impression that Elvis Presley Enterprises has approved, endorsed, or sponsored the Infringing Chapel. The Infringing Chapel is clearly trading off the Elvis Presley intellectual property rights, image, name, and likeness without the consent of Elvis Presley Enterprises.”
Authentic Brands Group purchased the intellectual property associated with Elvis in 2013.
They released a statement saying:
“As the guardians of the Elvis Presley estate, it is our responsibility to safeguard his legacy. This includes ensuring that all products, services, and advertisements utilizing Elvis’ name, image, or likeness are officially licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises. The estate has strong relationships with official Elvis tribute artists, fan clubs, and festivals, as well as a robust global network of licensed merchandise partners. There is no intention to shut down chapels that offer Elvis packages in Las Vegas. We are seeking to partner with each of these small businesses to ensure that their use of Elvis’ name, image, and likeness are officially licensed and authorized by the estate, so they can continue their operations.”
In case you need the tl;dr version, it’s not so much that Elvis is leaving Vegas but that the owners of his name, image, and likeness would like a cut of the profits from Elvis-themed weddings.
The wedding industry in Las Vegas has argued that they help keep The King’s legacy alive. ABG has backtracked a bit on their initial statement:
“We are working with the chapels to ensure that the usage of Elvis’ name, image, and likeness are in keeping with his legacy. Elvis is embedded into the fabric of Las Vegas, and we embrace and celebrate Elvis fandom. From tribute artists and impersonators to chapels and fan clubs, each and every one of these groups help to keep Elvis relevant for new generations of fans.”
It remains to be seen how it’ll all work out, but if you had an Elvis-themed wedding planned in Vegas, you’ll want to double-check your plans! – WTF fun facts