Bill Murray Receives Legal Threat From The Doobie Brothers
I’m learning so much today! Apparently, Bill Murray owns a golf apparel brand called William Murray Golf. And apparently, that company is selling a new golf shirt called Zero Hucks Given, named for Huckleberry Finn, one of the avid linksman and Caddyshack actor’s favorite literary characters. And apparently, the ads for this shirt feature the Doobie Brothers’ dad-rock classic “Listen To The Music.” And apparently, Murray’s company didn’t compensate the band or seek permission to use their song. And apparently, the Doobies would like to be paid.
As a tweet from The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner shows us, the group’s means of securing that bag is a humorous letter addressed to Murray from their attorney, Peter T. Paterno. Here is the text of that letter in full:
Dear Mr. Murray:
We’re writing on behalf of our clients, the Doobie Brothers. The Doobie Brothers perform and recorded the song Listen to the Music, which Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers wrote. It’s a fine song. I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for your Zero Hucks Given golf shirts. However, given that you haven’t paid to use it, maybe you should change the name to “Zero Bucks Given.”
We understand that you’re running other ads using music from other of our clients. It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump.
This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States Copyright Act, excoriate you for not complying with some subparagraph that I’m too lazy to look up and threaten you with eternal damnation for doing so. But you already earned that with those Garfield movies. And you already know that you can’t use music in ads without paying for it.
We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is. So in the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, “Au revoir Golfer. Et payez!”
Peter T. Paterno
of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano LLP