A pandemic couldn’t keep Bill Murray down this week. As he celebrated his 70th birthday in New York, Murray attended the premiere of his new film On The Rocks, followed by a party at his son Homer’s new restaurant Hombre Tacos, conveniently located at 30 Rock. But that was only the beginning…
Yesterday, Murray received a cease and desist order from The Doobie Brothers. Yes, really. Turns out that Murray’s been using their song “Listen to the Music” to promote some of his new golf clothes for his William Murray Golf company and was doing so without their permission. So naturally the band responded, but seeing as how they’re writing the letter to Bill Murray, they went ahead and made it humorous.
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