In any cultural argument, I will defend Justin Bieber.
He has injected more sunniness into the world than hundreds of orange juice producers, a thousand politicians, and a million reality shows.
However, I find myself tortured on hearing he is being sued by RC3, the app maker.
No, Bieber didn't invent this game in his sleep and show the app makers how it's done. Instead, it was RC3 that unleashed this game on unprepared masses.
It seems that Bieber's no doubt smiley attorneys asked RC3 to cease beavering. RC3, not intimidated by the blazing glare of this missive, sued the Innocent One.
I'll come to the legal details in a trice. First, I need to tell you about this app. It's a little game in which a beaver with highly prominent teeth signs Otter-graphs and knocks out Phot-Hogs. (See, these RC3 people are clever.)
For the latter, he uses a lance. It is red and lime green. However, Joustin' Beaver himself does wear a sweater (as so many beavers do this time of year) that is purple.
Anyone still breathing can see that there are certain perhaps reverential references to the singing uber-star here. However, RC3 declares that it has First Amendment rights to offer parody without misrepresentation, humor without misappropriation.
Video games were last year given full First Amendment protection. You know, like books and movies.
Apparently, Bieber's smiling lawyers did try to negotiate with RC3. However, now we are firmly in the world of lawsuits. RC3's suit refers to Bieber as "a minor that resides in California," which seems not to offer him his major world status.
It also describes him as a "pop-performer." This again smacks of slapping a young genius down. The suit freely admits that the game is a "comment upon the defendant's life."
My sympathies, though, lie with the judge who might preside over this painful process. On the one hand, you have an incredibly cute, cuddly and resourceful young man. On the other an incredibly cute, cuddly and resourceful animal.
I fear I know whose side PETA might be on, but any judge with a modicum of humanity will surely feel torn.
I know that RC3 is deeply concerned. For in deep perusal of these legal papers I see this phrase: "The plaintiff prays this court grant it to recover its costs and reasonable attorney fees."
Yes, RC3 is on its knees in celestial supplication.
Could anyone imagine that his Bieberness is actually behind an app that suggests he's a furry animal with large teeth? Equally, could anyone imagine that these app makers didn't think that their apparent reference to one of the world's great cultural figures would not hasten them toward dollars?
I cannot imagine why they didn't bring in Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul to mediate.