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The makers of the Joustin' Beaver game for Android phones have filed a lawsuit against the pop star in a preemptive move to ensure their game can be sold, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The game features a Beaver (who just so happens to look a lot like Bieber) floating down a river on a log. His task is to knock "Phot-Hogs" (who are trying to take his picture) into the river with a lance and sign "Otter-graphs" for his fans. The lawsuit notes the water animal also has to dodge the whirlpool of success, which spins the Beav out of control.
Clearly, it's satire, but Bieber's attorneys aren't laughing. Two weeks ago, they sent a cease and desist letter to the developer, threatening to take them to court if the game wasn't squashed. Instead, that developer, RC3, beat them to the punch after negotiations went nowhere.
It's hoping a judge will rule that the First Amendment protects the game as a parody. If that Constitutional argument sounds somewhat familiar, it's because it's similar to the one Electronic Arts is using in its preemptory suit against Bell Helicopters in a dispute over the use of specific choppers in Battlefield 3.
Expect the Bieber camp to argue that the similarity of the rodent's appearance to the singer could be misconstrued by his fans (um, Bieber's, not the Beaver's) as an endorsement of the game, and that the developers are exploiting his fame to make a profit for themselves.
That's all well and good, but we think there's another party who might have a stake in this. Unfortunately, Jerry Mathers has not yet weighed in on the Bieber/Beaver situation.
- Justin Bieber