Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

February 28, 2012 -

Android app developer RC3 has decided that it will fight lawyers representing teen heart throb Justin Bieber who sent the company a cease and desist over its game "Joustin' Beaver." The developer has preemptively filed a lawsuit against Bieber claiming that its game is a parody and therefore protected under the First Amendment. 

Critics of Bieber (of which there too many to list here) argue that this cease and desist against a small app developer is a bit heavy handed when there are games like "Kill Justin Beaver" out there that actually let you... kill Justin Bieber.

The game features a beaver floating along a river on a log. His goal is to knock "Phot-Hogs" down as they attempt to take his photograph, and to sign "Otter-graphs." The beaver also has to dodge the "whirlpool of success" so that he doesn't lose control of himself on the river.

The court filing follows what the developers call an “unsuccessful negotiation” with Bieber’s lawyer. Now the company is asking the court to rule that its game does not constitute any kind of infringement of Beiber's intellectual property or trademark rights. While we would think the court would rule in favor of RC3 because the game is clearly a parody of Justin Bieber, we'll have to wait and see if they come to some other conclusion.

If you are interested in supporting the developer, you can buy Joustin' Beaver here.



Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

when there are games like "Kill Justin Beaver" out there that actually let you... kill Justin Bieber.

​Sadly, that is not true. If the games actually let you kill Justin Beiber, he would be dead. Unfortunately, you are only killing a fictionalized representation of Beiber.

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

While I think it's obvious you are using sarcasm, I deplore that it became so accepted for people to wish the death of someone due to their fame or the dislike of their creations. That is, always, uncalled for.

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

I don't know if this really qualifies as parody; it just seems to be a loose collection of bad puns and uninspired tripe. I don't think this infringes on Bieber's IP, but it doesn't really seem to make any effort to mock him or make commentary on him or music in general.

I suspect this whole endevor started as someone mishearing "Justin Bieber" and then thinking that they need to share their unintentional 'cleverness' with the world.

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

There is no rule that parody has to be clever. It just has to be parody. Parody doesn't even have to comment on the target of the parody. (See Weird Al and the majority of his parody songs). So even a loosely connected series of puns on a person's name and lifestyle is parody. This type of content is (or at least should be) protected.

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

I don't disagree that this should be protected, but I do assert that it devalues parody as a whole.

And ultimately, I'm pretty confident that the only reason there's any noise being made is for the viral advertising benefit from the devs. I can't picture anyone who would seek this game out, except out of passing curiosity from hearing about it's 'controversy'.

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

I honestly don't understand the whole "devalue" argument. Not just in your comment, but in general. People make the statement that "such and such is going to devalue this and that" all the time. For the most part, the argument is completely meaningless.

How does this "devalue" well done parody? It doesn't. The only parody that is devalued by this game is the game itself. 

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

It devalues parody by setting precedent. Where good parody can provide sharp, meaningful commentary, or otherwise spin your perception on established material, this... does nothing.

If it fails, well then, no harm done. But if it makes even the tiniest profit, it sends the message out that it's okay to make money on garbage. We have enough crappy media out there by creators who are at least trying, I don't think we need to encourage people who aren't even aware enough to realize that they're producing junk.

And hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe these developers sincerely believe that "otter-graphs" are a serious commentary on the environmental impact of pop-music, and that the juxtaposition of medieval sport and beavers creates some sort of divine irony. Or maybe they just think that it's funny enough that other people would enjoy it. But I'm relatively confident that this is little more than sensationalism for a transparent cash grab.

Re: Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

This looks like something I'd be reading in the Onion.

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