The lawyers representing Bill Murray’s golf apparel company sent a humorous response to the Doobie Brothers after the band issued a similarly comedic letter that accused Murray of using their “Listen to the Music” in ads without compensation.
On Wednesday, the Doobie Brothers’ lawyers publicly sent a quirky legal warning to the William Murray Golf company about the commercials. “It’s a fine song. I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for your Zero Hucks Given golf shirts,” attorney Peter Paterno wrote. “However, given that you haven’t paid to use it, maybe you should change the company name to ‘Zero Bucks Given.'”
Paterno added, “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 you can’t use music in ads without paying for it.”
While hoping to reach an out-of-court compromise, the lawyer made one last crack at the comedy great and his golf shirts, “We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is.”
The firm representing Murray’s golf company, Yoffe & Cooper, responded to the Doobies’ legal notice Friday night with a clever letter of their own.
“First, I would like to compliment you on finding levity in the law at a time when the world and this country certainly could use a laugh. Your client’s demand was able to cut through the noise of the news cycle and remind us how much we all miss live music these days,” attorney Alexander Yoffe wrote.
“We would also like to confirm that both our firm, and the good folks at William Murray Golf, are indeed fans of the Doobie Brothers’ music, which is why we appreciate your firm’s choice of ‘Takin’ It to the Streets,’ rather than to the courts, which are already overburdened ‘Minute by Minute’ with real problems.”
The lawyer then noted that Howard King, an attorney at the law firm representing the Doobie Brothers, also represented Robin Thicke during that singer’s “Blurred Lines” battle against the Marvin Gaye estate, and added that the Doobie Brothers were not “harmed” by the golf company commercials.
“In the immortal words of Mr. Murray—the more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything… so let’s pour one up and unwind with a listen of the recently-released ‘Quadio’ box set and plan to cross paths at a Doobie Brothers’ 50th anniversary show in 2021 when some level of normalcy resumes,” Yoffe wrote.
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“As your client so aptly stated in this classic song in question, ‘What the people need is a way to make them smile’ — which both Bill and the Doobies have been doing for decades, as world-class entertainers.”
Yoffe closed out his response by offering to send William Murray Golf shirts to each member of their band “and hopefully win each of you over as new fans of the brand… At least that’s ‘what this fool believes.'”
In the immortal words of the @TheDoobieBros—"What the people need is a way to make them smile."
— William Murray Golf (@WMurrayGolf) September 25, 2020