A company that controls the name and likeness of Elvis Presley has warned wedding service companies in Las Vegas not to hold ceremonies centered on the singer.
The Licence company, Authentic Brands Group, sent cease and desist letters to several weddings chapelsthe Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. A cease and desist order is a legally enforceable order from a court or government agency that orders a person or organization to stop an activity.
The letter says the company will no longer allow unapproved use of Presley’s name, likeness, voice image or other material related to the music star. The letter also stated that “Elvis”, “Elvis Presley” and “The King of Rock and Roll” are legally protected names.
Las Vegas, Nevada is a popular place to get married. And many wedding service companies in the city offer Elvis-theme ceremonies. Some companies claim that removing Elvis items from their offerings will greatly harm their business.
Kayla Collins operates LasVegasElvisWeddingChapel.com and Little Hearts Chapel with her husband. “It’s our bread and butter“, she told The Associated Press. “I don’t understand. We were just getting our groove back through COVID and then this happens.” “Getting up to speed” means getting back to doing something effectively after a slow start.
Lynn Goya is a local official who has spearheaded marketing campaigns aimed at positioning Las Vegas as a wedding hub. She said the order for chapels to stop using Elvis items couldn’t have come at a worse time. The city has suffered from a lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city’s wedding industry brings in around $2 billion a year. Officials say many wedding ceremonies have Elvis themes. “It could destroy part of our marriage industry, Goya said. “A number of people could lose their livelihood.”
In a recent statement, Authentic Brands Group said it has strong relationships with Elvis performers and fan festivals. The company added that it does not want to close all chapels offering Elvis-themed ceremonies in Las Vegas.
“We seek to partner with each of these small businesses to ensure that their use of Elvis’s name, image and likeness is officially authorized and authorized…,” said Authentic Brands Group.
The company also oversees licensing issues for big names like movie star Marilyn Monroe and boxer Muhammad Ali.
Presley has longstanding ties to Las Vegas. His 1964 film, Long live Las Vegasled to a musical hit of the same name which became the unofficial theme for the town.
In July 1969, the star redefined Las Vegas residence shows with live performances at the Las Vegas International Hotel. The show was only supposed to last four weeks. But it ended up going on for over 600 shows. It ended in December 1976.
Presley himself married in Las Vegas in 1967 to his wife Priscilla.
Kent Ripley owns a business called Elvis Weddings. He said he never had to deal with this kind of problem in his 25 years of performing as Elvis. “They want to protect the Elvis Mark,” Ripley said. “But what are they protecting by keeping Elvis away from the public?”
I am Brian Lynn.
The Associated Press reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English.
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words in this story
Licence – v. give someone official permission to do or have something
Chapel – nm a small church or a room used as a church in a building
theme – nm the subject of a book, film, event, etc.
bread and butter – nm a job or activity that provides a person with enough money to live on
livelihood – nm how someone makes their money
to allow – v. give permission for something to happen
residence – nm a long period of time during which a performer performs in one place instead of moving from place to place
Mark – nm a type of product made by a particular company and sold under a particular name