Indiana officially became the Zombieland of the Right of Publicity in 1994. That was the year it enacted Chapter 36 of Section 32 of the Indiana Code, which, among other things, provides that a personality's right of publicity lasts for 100 years after that person's death. Moreover, it didn't matter if the dead celebrity's "home" State--such as New York--had rejected a post-mortem right of publicity. That's because Indiana's statute "applies to an act or event that occurs within Indiana, regardless of a personality's domicile, residence, or citizenship." (Ind. Code 32-36-1-1(a) (emphasis added).) Since commerce tends to be national, a product bearing a dead celebrity's name would find its way into Indiana.
Welcome to Hoosier Zombieland, where Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and millions of others could rise from the dead to sue you for violating their right of publicity. Indeed, potential plaintiffs include Frankenstein (Boris Karloff, died 1969), Dracula (Bela Lugosi, died 1956), and the Phantom of the Opera (Lon Chaney, Sr., died 1930).
Ironically, though, it took a courtroom battle between the Godfather and Indiana's own John Dillinger to slap some restraints onto the Indiana statute.