David's post yesterday got us thinking about one of our favorite cases, A&P v. D'Avella. As some of you will recall, the case involved two brothers who worked at an A&P supermarket in New Jersey and created parodic rap songs with supermarket themes under the name "Fresh Beets." Their crowning achievement, of course, was a video called "Produce Paradise," which they made in the A&P store (after hours) and posted to YouTube and their website fakelaugh.com. A&P was not amused and sued the brothers for trademark infringement and dilution, defamation, and trade libel. To put it mildly, the supermarket's legal claims were questionable (see Sam's August 30th post on the case for details). Through a little digging, I've learned that the parties have settled the case, bringing to a close one of the more humorous episodes chronicled in our legal threats database.
In early May, the Courier News reported that A&P and the D'Avella brothers had agreed to settle. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, the Courier News was able to confirm independently that A&P would not pursue its $1 million lawsuit if the brothers removed the "Produce Paradise" video from the web. Alas, the video has disappeared from YouTube and fakelaugh.com. But if you missed it the first time around, all is not lost. YouTube user "newsfast" posted a clip of a Fox news story about the case, which intersperses portions of "Produce Paradise" between the reporter's commentary.
I won't pretend to be thrilled about the outcome as I agree with Sam's analysis that A&P had no colorable claims against the brothers, but it could be worse. As it stands, the world can still see portions of the video on YouTube; A&P can ponder whether its legal maneuvering was worth the negative publicity; and the brothers can return to normal life and work on new projects for fakelaugh.com without bankrupting themselves or dealing with the hassle of litigation.
(Thanks to Wendy Seltzer at Chilling Effects for tracking down newsfast's YouTube clip of the Fox news story.)