Now that Justin Bieber has turned 18 and is presumably done with his house-buying birthday spree, it’s time for the pop phenom to start settling some family business. First on the docket for The Bieb is one of his craftiest and most unusual villains yet—Joustin’ Beaver, title hero of an RC3-developed game available as a smart phone app. RC3 received a cease-and-desist letter from Bieber’s camp for their rodent protagonist’s obvious likeness in both name and dress (shaggy hair and dreamy eyes to boot, natch) to Ontario’s favorite son, and has sued Bieber pre-emptively to make sure they will be able to sell their game under the First Amendment. The company explains the game in their lawsuit:
The App, a video game, is a parody of the commercial success of the Defendant and any celebrity. The parody app portrays a beaver floating on a log down a river. The beaver presents with bangs, a lance, and a purple sweater. The beaver knocks ‘Phot-Hogs’ that are attempting to take his photograph into the river with his lance. The beaver also signs ‘Otter-graphs.’ The beaver also must dodge the ‘whirlpool of success,’ which will lead beaver out of control, while navigating the river.
Sounds clever, if with perhaps limited replay value. The Hollywood Reporter explains the situation from the perspective of Bieber’s camp, however:
The Bieber case, however, will likely turn on whether “Joustin’ Bieber’ is likely to cause confusion as to the source and endorsement of the young hearthrob. The game-maker will likely get a lot of attention for bringing this lawsuit and may cash in on the resulting publicity. If Bieber wins the case, however, the singer could claim the company’s profits from making an exploitation.
Publicity or no, we can’t exactly see this becoming the next Angry Birds. Justin should see this as the frivolous compliment that it is and move on with his adult life, we’d say. Not quite worth going to the mattresses on this one.