Sometimes life does imitate art. The Beastie Boys have countersued Silicon Valley darling GoldieBlox in a very well written complaint focusing as much on right of publicity and false endorsement as copyright infringement (“Beastie Boys Sue GoldieBlox For Acting With “Oppression, Fraud, And Malice“).
In case you missed it, the wonderful new music blog MusicIntelligentsia has a series of posts about the connections between the rather unbelievable recent Google Books ruling on fair use and the lawsuit that GoldieBlox filed against the Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin. One post in particular connects the lawyer for Google in the Google Books case to the artist-busting tactics Google employed to attack all the world’s authors, illustrators, songwriters, screenwriters and photographers (“Organizing the World’s Information Whether the World Likes It Or Not: Fair use for the 1% After Google Books“). That lawyer, Daralyn Durie of one of Google’s principle outside law firms, led the attack on Google’s move to destroy the artist class in the Books class action and force all authors to sue individually on a book by book basis (“Google wants authors group out of [Google Books] case“). Ms. Durie told the Court (apparently with a straight face):
Google attorney Daralyn Durie told Judge Denny Chin in federal court in Manhattan that authors and photographers would be better off fending for themselves because their circumstances varied widely, especially since the copyright issue for authors involves the display of small snippets of text.
Strangely enough, the New York Times reports that right on cue, Ms. Durie is now representing GoldieBlox. GoldieBlox is/was/maybe still is also represented by Orrick, the old line San Francisco behemoth and one of the worlds largest law firms. Perhaps Orrick lacked Ms. Durie’s special talents.
Look, over there–there are some artists left who Silicon Valley hasn’t jacked around! Call the experts!
Gee, that sure is some high powered (and highly paid) legal advice for a little Silicon Valley startup. Looks to be running about $3,000 an hour. Or, said another way, about 3 Google shares per hour.
Welcome to life in the 1% of the 1%.