A mobile game created to parody Canada’s biggest teenybopper export in years was just asking for trouble, and that’s what it’s gotten: the developers behind ‘Joustin’ Beaver,’ a mobile game available for iOS and Android devices, have been served with a cease and desist order from lawyers representing Justin Bieber.
The game doesn’t use his music, but it does feature a Bieber-like beaver, named Joustin’ Beaver, who floats down a river knocking things down. It costs $0.99 to download.
In a letter to developers RC3, a lawyer representing Bieber, Aaron D. Rosenberg of Myman, Greenspan, Fineman, Fox, Rosenberg & Light, LLP, says that the developer has two days to take down the game before further legal action is taken.
“Please be advised, at no time has our Client, our Client’s parental guardian, or our Client’s designated representatives entered into an agreement with you or your related business entities, or otherwise granted permission to you or any third party, to create the App,” the Rosenberg writes. “Further, I am not aware that you made any inquiry or gesture to contact our Client’s representatives to obtain such authorization. Accordingly, you have no right to utilize our Client’s name, image, likeness, life story or identity in or in connection with the App.”
He also points out that “Exploitation of our Client’s name, likeness, image and renowned reputation in the industry to promote, advertise and market the App falsely implies that our Client has granted you certain rights to do so which, as you know, is not the case.”
Bieber has had a big presence in mobile, with a huge number of people following his exploits on Instagram, and so while all this sounds a bit ridiculous, you can see where some might possibly lead to confusion that either agreed to or had involvement with this particular game.
RC3 has responded: “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.”
RC3 is keeping the game live for now — but those $0.99 download proceeds are going to start dwindling down fast if they don’t come up with a plan B.