Based on our report about the UVA super-awesome-happy law student, a lot of people seem to be confused about how the internet works. So, as a public service, let’s go over the rules:
Rule 1: If it ends up on the internet, everybody can see it.
Rule 2: If everybody can see it, it’s possible everybody will see it.
Rule 3: After everybody sees it, all bets are off.
Are we clear? Okay then.
Tonight we have a story about a couple of kids in California who understood these rules. They tried to keep their beer pong exploits off the internet. But the internet never loses, and now they’re suing…
THR, Esq. reports on a lawsuit filed by people who seem to have just learned about “globalization.”
The plaintiffs, Scott Tipton and Christopher Kolb, seemingly play a lot of [beer pong], a sport the complaint notes has “tremendous appeal to the demographic most coveted by TV programmers and advertisers.”
Tipton was a law student at the time he filmed the commercial. He didn’t want prospective employers seeing him execute complex tricks like ricocheting the ping-pong ball four times off various uneven, angled surfaces and into the beer cup with back-spin (video after the jump). He also didn’t want his conservative grandparents watching.
So the duo agreed to film the commercial, but producers allegedly agreed to restrict it to Danish airwaves. Oops.
THR has the full commercial. The guys are amazing.
The Danish commercial ended up on The World’s Funniest Commercials, and from there went viral.
Scott Tipton (no relation to state representative Scott Tipton) is a graduate of Southwestern School of Law. Arguably he could have filed the suit himself. But Tipton’s no fool. He hired a lawyer, Perrin Disner (Michigan ’06). Here’s how Disner described the claims to Above the Law:
Checking the release granted by a performer in an original work — and supplementing it if necessary — is so simple and obvious a step that it should be automatic for any producer putting together a derivative work like this. Plaintiffs weren’t celebrities but, of course, in addition to an expectation of privacy, private individuals are entitled to the same right of publicity that celebrities enjoy. The fact that the defendants here were so cavalierly dismissive of plaintiffs’ rights leads us to wonder whether they cleared the rights of any of the performers whose foreign commercials made it onto the show.
Well, maybe these guys will recover some money. But the whole “don’t want potential employers to see it” thing? Yeah, that’s pretty much gone. See “the rules,” supra.
Anybody up for a game? Ten-cup, player’s choice consolidation, single shot redemption. Keep your elbows back and meet me at Whiskey River this weekend.
Beer pong players sue over inclusion in ‘World’s Funniest Commercials’ [THR, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]