Arizona Lawmakers OK Bill to Stop Commercial Use of Dead Soldiers' Photos, Names

A bill that would make it a crime in Arizona to use a dead soldier's name or photo for commercial purposes without family permission is headed to the governor.

The House on Monday unanimously approved the measure, created in response to complaints from survivors of soldiers whose names have appeared on anti-war T-shirts sold on the Internet by a Flagstaff businessman, Dan Frazier. The Senate had already passed it.

The measure would make violations a misdemeanor, like laws enacted last year in Oklahoma and Louisiana. The Texas and Florida legislatures have also passed bills, but they await the governors' signatures.

In Arizona, violations would be punishable by up to six months in jail and fines up to $2,500 for an individual and $20,000 for an enterprise. The measure also authorizes families to sue.

Frazier contends that his T-shirts are political statements and that the legislation violates his rights to free speech.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Janet Napolitano has declined to comment on whether she will sign the bill.