Does Your Internet Lawyer Need a Lawyer?

So I was checking out Affbuzz tonight and I saw an ad for a law firm branding itself as “Internet Lawyers”.  Click on the image to see it in all of its irony-dripping glory…

This firm is marketing itself as specializing in things like intellectual property rights. And I quote:

The [law firm] is an established authority in helping you set the proper policies in place to: reduce your business’ liability, protect you and your company from potential attack and help rectify these issues if and when they do arise.

LMAO.   What are the odds that they actually paid for the rights to use Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s likeness in their ad?

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  • Mattias

    Classic Fail.

  • Tru facepalm

  • max

    I thought the exact same thing.

  • I thought the same exact thing also.

  • You should’ve done a little research into the concept of fair use before you made this blog post public.

    You and the 4 people who commented have effectively come off as incredibly ctrtarded…

    • So are you saying that this law firm’s use of The Rock in their ad is fair use?

    • Its a parody. Last I recall comical parodies are protected speech in the US.

      Parody or not, right or wrong, you deserve to treat others with respect, that way we’ll respect *you*.

      • Wait what? I’m confused. “Parody or not, right or wrong, you deserve to treat others with respect, that way we’ll respect *you*.” Are you directing that at me? I don’t think I was being disrespectful.

        Also… AFAIK I don’t believe this banner can be considered parody. Mainly because it’s not “transformative” and it is commercial in nature. But like everything else, that’s open for debate.

        Considering the fact that Dwayne Johnson makes money by selling his likeness, I think he would have a case.

        Not that I really care, mind you. I just thought it was funny that a law firm was doing something sketchy like this.

        • @CTRTARD Of course you’re not being disrespectful – I’m talking to pimple-ladden troll Houston there. The threading of the comments is a bit confusing.

          I don’t know about the definitions of the law on parody – all I know is South Park seems to do just fine with their flavor of parody of just about everyone.

          • LOL OK.

            I’m pretty sure South Park is considered parody because it has artistic value. I think since advertising’s main purpose is to sell a product, it is not really considered art. If it was, I think we would say WAY more ads with celebrities. I mean imagine all the ads you could have Arnold Schwarzenegger in selling maid services, divorce attorneys, or even muscle building supplements. You could put a funny talk balloon coming out of his mouth and claim parody but I’ll bet as soon as he climbs off the maid he would sue your butt! 😉

          • papajohn

            except south park *is* the product. DVDs are sold, merchandise, etc etc etc. artistic license is easily defended in court, and parody applies to this banner. does your internet marketing blog need a filter?

            • Of course a DVD of South Park is a product. Duh.

              But South Park itself is a television show. And its primary purpose is to entertain with humor. On the other hand, the banner while it may be humorous and entertaining, has a primary purpose of selling a product. I don’t think, in this case, it constitutes fair use.

          • With so many (tits) ways of calling (ass) attention (cleavage) to something (legs) it does seem like (boobs) a dumb way to (panty) promote your law firm.

    • @Houston…

      See my reply below to papajohn. I ran my post by an attorney and he pretty much agreed with me.

      But thanks for playing…

  • papajohn

    ctr “tard” is pretty appropriate here, you guys are idiots who don’t know the law.

    • So… I ran this by an attorney and he said he would never use a celebrity’s image in his firm’s advertising without a license.

      He said the issue is not free speech, it’s commercial speech — and there is a big difference.

      Parody/fair use is a defense to copyright infringement, but not a defense for making commercial use of someone’s likeness.

      So… IN YER FACE papajohn!

      • Rick

        Again….it’s a meme…do you really think the rock in any way, shape, or form can be construed as having endorsed or approves the running of farticles. It’s a parody of a parody…sounds like you need a new attorney as well.

        • Yeah, I didn’t know it was a meme until you pointed it out. I’m not sure the attorney I pinged did either at the time. It wasn’t until you posted it was a meme that I was aware of it.

      • papajohn

        lol your lawyer doesn’t know the most recent supreme court precedent:

        44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island (1996), the case was ruled in favor of 44 Liquormart, Inc, in which the following quote was said by Clarence Thomas on his official release –

        “I do not see a philosophical or historical basis for asserting that ‘commercial’ speech is of ‘lower value’ than ‘noncommercial’ speech.”

        On top of that, since this is a meme (which is covered under parody laws), look at:

        Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.

        The Supreme Court held that:

        The commercial nature of a parody does not render it a presumptively unfair use of copyrighted material. Rather, a parody’s commercial character is only one element that should be weighed in a fair use inquiry.

        Maybe your lawyer is the ‘tard’.

        • Props for some REAL data vs. being a douche like some other people and just posting your opinion.

          I’m no lawyer myself but I think the rulings you posted sound like they would be a valid argument if you did ever get taken to court over a banner like this. That being said, I think using a celebrities image without licensing the rights to do so is just inviting them to sue you. We all know how the system works. As a little guy you can get dicked over pretty bad if someone bigger than you decides to litigate you into the poor house.

          And for the record, he’s not my lawyer. Furthermore, calling people a ‘tard on my blog is considered a compliment =)

          Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • rick

    Apparently you guys don’t know your memes.

    Its classic fair use.

    • Nice find, I didn’t realize this was a meme.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Jacob

    Still Funny 4 years later – rofl.


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