Justin Bieber Issues a Cease-and-Desist Against the ‘Free Bieber’ Campaign

In the latest episode of contorted legal ridiculousness, attorneys representing Justin Bieber have issued a cease-and-desist against FreeBieber.org, a campaign that uses Bieber to highlight issues with the recently-proposed Commercial Felony Streaming Act.

It’s all part of the recently-introduced ‘Blacklist Bill’ – or ‘SOPA’ in the House – that would effectively make it a felony to willfully stream unauthorized content.

Which is exactly the tactic that made Justin Bieber famous on YouTube, and the reason for the campaign.  The ‘FreeBieber’ concept features pictures of the singer in jail – instead of on stage – which theoretically would have happened if the law had been passed and enforced several years ago.

But wait: Justin Bieber doesn’t want to be a fabricated poster child for overreaching copyright legislation!  It’s not part of the marketing plan!  Accordingly, Bieber’s attorneys have mailed a stern cease-and-desist to Fight the Future, the group spearheading the ‘Free Bieber’ concept.

But wait, it gets better: the Free Bieber campaign is fighting back, with the help of none other than the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).  And, the EFF contends that Free Bieber is fully protected by fair use statutes:

“Simply put, we believe your legal threats to be entirely baseless…

First, there is no trademark violation here.  My client has launched a popular political campaign designed to raise awareness about and comment on what it believes to be possible implications of legislation now pending in the Senate…

… fair uses of Mr. Bieber’s likeness – such as those on display on freebieber.org – are fully protected by the First Amendment.”

More as it unfolds…