Keith Burgess-Jackson runs a site that's strongly critical of Texas law professor Brian Leiter. That site used to be http://brianleiter.powerblogs.com, but powerblogs has moved it to http://academicthug.powerblogs.com following this letter from Brian Leiter:
Dear Mr. Landsown [sic]:
I am writing to put you and your company, American Powerblogs Inc., on notice that a user of your service, Powerblogs, has engaged in tortious misappropriation of my name in order to advertise and draw attention to his web site. Keith Burgess-Jackson, who runs the site in question (www.brianleiter.powerblogs.com), has not received my permission to register my name, or any variation of my name, or to otherwise utilize my name, or any variation of my name, in order to promote or otherwise identify his site. Please close down that particular URL immediately. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Very truly yours, Brian Leiter Joseph D. Jamail Centennial Chair in Law, Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Law & Philosophy Program The University of Texas at Austin ...
Here's my question for those who know tort law, and especially Texas tort law: Is Prof. Leiter's legal claim at all sound? My sense is that it is not:
(1) There's no right of publicity claim, I think, both because the site doesn't make any money and is thus not commercial, and because it's opinion writing rather than advertising or merchandising.
(2) There's no right of privacy claim (at least in the disclosure of private facts sense), because no embarrassing private information is being disclosed.
(3) One could argue a "false light" invasion of privacy theory, claiming that the use of Leiter's name would suggest to some readers that he is the one posting to the site, but I strongly doubt readers would draw such an inference, given the site's obvious content.
Am I mistaken? Are there some special Texas doctrines that cut in Prof. Leiter's favor? Please post only if you are knowledgeable about tort law; I'm curious what the legal rules are, not what they in theory ought to be. (The ethics of the situation, as opposed to the law of it, are also a separate matter that I leave aside for this post.)