Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Feb 24, 2012 07:42 pm CST
Updated: A 99-cent app created to appeal to Justin Bieber fans has raised the ire of the pop star’s lawyers.
The app is a game called Joustin’ Beaver. A press release says the app “is an homage to teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Fans of the pop star can help guide his cartoon counterpart down a river while picking up ‘Otter-graph seekers’ and knocking evil ‘Phot-hogs’ into the water with his jousting lance.”
Bieber apparently asked his lawyers to pick up their lances. According to TechCrunch and TMZ, Bieber’s lawyers have sent a cease and desist letter to the company that created the app, RC3. “Absent the express written permission of our client and our client’s parental guardian, the exploitation of the app is a direct and blatant infringement of our client’s right of publicity,” says the letter (PDF) written by lawyer Aaron Rosenberg of Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light.
TechCrunch published this response from RC3: “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.”
Two weeks after receiving the first cease-and-desist letter, RC3 filed a pre-emptive suit against Bieber, according to the Hollywood Reporter and JDJournal. The declaratory judgment action describes the game as a “parody app” in an effort to gain First Amendment protection.
Updated on Feb. 28 to include news of RC3’s lawsuit.