December 12, 2006

"Judge makes benefit for Borat."

High five!


Les said...

I'm curious what the etiquette teacher is suing for. Or am I thinking of the wrong person in the movie? I don't remember her doing anything to embarass herself, like the frat boys or some others did.

Mack said...

If I were anything in the movie, and they lied to get me to sign a consent form, I think I'd sue on principle.

Seven Machos said...

I had a long talk with my wife about this. She is a sophisticated attorney. I have a law degree. Neither of us have seen the movie.

I made a lot of arguments about the inherent fraud perpetrated by moviemakers who get people to sign releases without telling them exactly what the movie is and about how these people were de facto actors. She would not relent that the people knew there were cameras around and that the moviemakers must have explained the release after the fact. "Everybody wants to be on fiil," she said.

We both agreed that it comes down to what the release said. I contend that a release is an agreement and the paper is just evidence of the agreement. She thinks the release governs more prominently.

I really wish I could argue this case on the side of the plaintiffs.

Al Maviva said...

I like "Borat" stuff okay, but if he's such a brave, brilliant, transgressive genius, why doesn't he take on radical Islam? Seems to me, risking getting your throat slit by a bunch of masked dudes in the throes of violent ecstasy, who are set off by any real or imagined slight such as the mere existence of Jewish comedians, is more transgressive than pissing off some Southern Baptists at dinner who are too polite to tell you that you're acting like a complete turd...

Of course you could ask the same question of Madonna. Trampling a crucifix for pseudo-sexual thrills was transgressive when de Sade did it and got imprisoned for his troubles. Doing it 210 years later, for commercial purposes, is pretty lame. If Madonna wanted to be really transgressive, she could ditch her latest religion of the week, return to the Catholic church, and renounce her earlier material(girl)ism. I'm not saying that would be a good career move, but it would be transgressive as all hell against the existing social order.

Les said...

I suppose it really wouldn't be all that interesting or funny if he took on "radical Islam" - we already know what would happen, he'd get his head sawed off or something equally brutal. Would make for maybe a ten minute movie. Boring.

It's much more interesting to see how people in England and the US react because the reactions aren't going to be so predictable.

I don't think he ever called himself brave, brilliant, or transgressive, so he's probably not too concerned with being any of those things.

Mack said...

Seven Machos,

An agreement is an agreement, but fraud is also fraud. If they lied to get somebody to sign something, I don't think they have any ethical position. They might have a legal position, but I'd be happy to pick a fight with them anyway.

I also hate the prevalence of long agreements these days, though. They could slip a line into any number of these opt-in or opt-out forms, and you'd be signing away your first-born without even knowing it. Unless you're talking about sophisticated parties, I'm with you, that the question should really be what the agreement was, not just what some hidden clause says.

Seven Machos said...

That's the thing. The contract you sign at the car rental place or to download Skype will be enforced principally because it merely states what the parties are agreeing to, anyway. The agreement itself is the key, not some document that someone signed but did not read.

The creator of any form contract enjoys some advantages in the relationship but it's not a like court would enforce a clause in a car rental contract pledging your soul to the devil .

If we all took the time to read those documents, no one would have time to do much else.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the document. But it also comes down to what both parties thought the agreement was.

I don't understand why the lawyers are making tort claims, if they are making tort claims. This is a contract dispute.