An Illegal Parody? Justin Bieber is Trying to Shut Down the Joustin’ Beaver App
I’m no lawyer – I’m barely high school educated – but if one creates a phone app playing off the name of a celebrity, and then has a cartoon character looking somewhat like this celebrity (albeit in beaver form), this shouldn’t be grounds for shutting the app down, should it? Where is Lionel Hutz when you need him
(oh yeah, he’s dead)? The app developers of Joustin’ Beaver, a mobile phone game for Android and iOS devices, have been giving the mighty cease and desist order from Justin Bieber’s lawyers (via Tech Crunch). The game doesn’t specifically mention his name, nor does it reference or play his music.
The letter from Bieber’s lawyers reads: “Please be advised, at no time has our Client, our Client’s parental guardian, or our Client’s designated representatives entered into an agreement with you or your related business entities, or otherwise granted permission to you or any third party, to create the App. Further, I am not aware that you made any inquiry or gesture to contact our Client’s representatives to obtain such authorization. Accordingly, you have no right to utilize our Client’s name, image, likeness, life story or identity in or in connection with the App.”
Pretty sure his life story isn’t being used in the app, unless Bieber has jousting skills and a beaver-like appearance that I’m not hip to.
Game developers, RC3, have said “The game is a parody and is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Nowhere in the game is Justin Bieber’s name, photo, image, or life story mentioned.” Perhaps the intro line to the app description doesn’t help their case – “International SUPERSTAR Joustin’ Beaver needs your help! ”
They have 2 days to take the game down before the fury of law will hit them. Good luck, RC3!