Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


Casey Anthony, charged with first-degree murder of her two-year-old daughter, filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2013. Absent from Ms. Anthony's list of assets are intellectual property rights in a book that she has stated she will write based on her life-story. This Comment addresses whether a life-story and future book rights should be property of the bankruptcy estate. It relies on legal arguments based on 11 U.S.C. § 541(a), copyright law, labor theory, and the right of publicity. Practical arguments based on real-world practice and public policy, such as the entry of intellectual property into the public domain and Son of Sam statutes, are also considered. After determining that Ms. Anthony's life-story and future book rights should be considered property of the bankruptcy estate, this Comment also argues that a market-based approach to valuation is the appropriate method to be used for assessing the value of intellectual property rights of this sort.