Justin Bieber Sends Cease & Desist To FreeBieber Campaign

from the bieber-fever dept

Apparently Justin Bieber has no interest in being kept out of jail. You may recall that the Fight for the Future folks recently started a satirical campaign against the felony streaming bill (S.978 in the Senate, and a part of the SOPA bill in the House) by jokingly launching a campaign to "free Justin Bieber", noting that the bill, as written, could be interpreted to mean that Justin Bieber could have been guilty of committing a felony with his early videos that he put up on YouTube, which helped to really create Justin Bieber. Those videos meet the standards set in the law for criminal copyright infringement, which drives home just how ridiculous the bill is.

Apparently, Justin Bieber (or, at least, his lawyers) apparently would prefer not to be used to defend against draconian, overreaching copyright legislation. They sent Fight for the Future a cease and desist letter, claiming that such a use infringes on a variety of his rights, including (of course) publicity rights and his privacy rights.

Of course, as the EFF writes in its response (embedded below), it appears that Bieber's lawyers are clearly stretching the interpretation of various laws... likely hoping that by sending the legal nastygram, it would cause the FreeBieber team to stop. But that's not what's happening. They're standing behind the use of Bieber and the entire effort:
With respect to the privacy claims, we cannot fathom how this political campaign in any way intrudes on any privacy right your extremely public client might assert. As for the purported right of publicity violations, state laws have long recognized that a celebrity's interest in his or her image must be balanced against the public interest in free speech.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's your argument, that someone might actually think Beiber is in jail? That's pretty weak, certainly not the open and shut you make it out to be. Even if there was actually a significant risk of confusion over Beiber's status that wouldn't be the end of the debate. It's not automatically a right of publicity violation to say 'Biber is in jail' even if he's not just because he's famous.

    I don't think 1st amendment issues are 'new issues' EFF is 'creating' as much as they've always been an issue with copyright and publicity right enforcement that the EFF addresses when they are created by others, in this case Beiber's lawyers.

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