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The Supreme Court ruled Friday that publicity rights do not apply to animals, overturning lower court rulings ordering a video game maker to compensate horse owners for using their steeds’ names in games without approval.

Presiding Justice Shigeo Takii rejected the owners’ compensation claims against Tokyo-based software maker and retailer Tecmo Ltd., saying, “Even if the names and other factors attracted customers, it is inappropriate to acknowledge (the publicity rights) without any legal basis.”

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