January 30, 2006

Lawyers, Libel, and Music Criticism

Check out this fun article about lawyers fact-checking the claims of a music critic.

In my job, a paralegal and I have to clear press releases (usually just for proper trademark usage, but also for factual claims that could count as representations). The lawyers in this article seem a bit cautious to me.

Here's a taste, but be sure to read the whole thing (the lawyers' critiques are in italics):

The author alleges the band KISS badly mimed "Beth" and "Detroit Rock City" on "The Paul Lynde Variety Special." Evidence?

I realize the words "KISS" and "Paul Lynde" don't normally appear together in the same sentence. But such a TV-variety special did air in 1977, on which KISS was the musical guest. As for my predicate "badly mimed," consider that during the performance of "Beth," the drummer miraculously played the piano by positioning his fingers 6 inches above the keyboard. You do the math.

Really. What 1970s musical variety show wasn't badly mimed?

(Hat tip: Lynn S. at A Sweet, Familiar Dissonance)

Posted by JohnL at January 30, 2006 11:03 PM | TrackBack

They've got nothing on the legal department I have to work with when it comes to cautious. I once submitted a trade ad that contained a ying-yang symbol. It came back with a comment on that graphic that asked "Did we design this here or buy the rights to use it?"

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at January 31, 2006 05:50 PM

They were using British standards for libel, so it would be more strict than in the US. But still, it seemed a bit much.

Posted by: owlish at February 1, 2006 08:36 AM

I just love our Learned Profession, don't you?

(Go ahead, *ask* me how my week's been. >:) )

Posted by: Lysander at February 3, 2006 02:08 PM

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Posted by: zrdtk at February 24, 2010 12:48 PM
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