Sixteen: old enough to be on MySpace, but not in this music video

Sixteen: old enough to be on MySpace, but not in this music video

Summary: The Los Angeles Times reports that serveral music industry organizations, including Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records, are being sued by a sixteen-year-old girl who responded to a MySpace ad touting the opportunity to appear as an extra in a Buckcherry video.  According to the plaintiff, she was not carded but was given alcohol before her ensuing Girls Gone Wild-esque behavior was captured for posterity.

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The Los Angeles Times reports that serveral music industry organizations, including Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records, are being sued by a sixteen-year-old girl who responded to a MySpace ad touting the opportunity to appear as an extra in a Buckcherry video.  According to the plaintiff, she was not carded but was given alcohol before her ensuing Girls Gone Wild-esque behavior was captured for posterity.  According to the band, she had to have presented a fake i.d. and falsified a release in order to participate.  According to the Los Angeles Times, "The Buckcherry situation is just the latest incident demonstrating how the Internet is erasing lines that once separated the private and the public."

It's interesting that the role of MySpace is being underscored here, in what would appear to be an effort to leverage the negative press and fear surrounding minors' involvement with the site.  Presumably the same ad on the band's Web site or in local print publications would have achieved similar results, if not perhaps reaching as broad an audience.

Meanwhile, the defendants' lawyers must be busy channeling Roy Scheider's Brody from Jaws:  You're gonna need a much better bouncer.  

Topic: Social Enterprise

Denise Howell

About Denise Howell

Denise Howell is an appellate, intellectual property and technology lawyer who enjoys broad industry recognition for her expertise on the intersection of emerging technologies and law.

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11 comments
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  • I have difficulty ...

    ... with a suit blaming large organizations for the actions of someone who misrepresents herself and chooses her behaviors without coercion.

    I do think that the person with the camera might have given some consideration to what the record of that behavior would do to the course of his subject's life. But reporters and photographers are not held to high standards of compassion, perhaps justifiably. And good ethics are hard to embody in law.

    And then the Court case is going to magnify the damage by increasing the prominence of the video. If this is the choice of the person affected, that's one more decision with consequences. But if this is the choice of attornies working on contingency fees, then the decision is questionable.

    The attornies should be very confident of gaining sufficient compensation for their client to make this added ... humiliation justifiable.
    Anton Philidor
  • Another Case of Blaming Someone Else for Your Actions

    This is a ridiculous lawsuit. The child had to know what kind of environment she was getting into. This is not the fault of MySpace, they did not force her to drink and throw her clothes off. Take responsibility for yourself!
    firegirl@...
  • Another possibility...

    ... is that she knew exactly what she was doing. The lawsuit may benefit her financially.
    bportlock
    • Bingo!

      It's very odd that this young lady went from going from VERY WILLING PARTICIPANT to AGGRIEVED PLAINTIFF. She smelled a payday.

      Or, the daughter thought it was an awesome idea at first, until her parents found out, were likely mortified, and then looked for ways to lessen the damage the daughter's actions were causing to their parental reputations within their social network.
      ejhonda
      • The article indicates she was pole dancing

        The article indicated she was pole dancing. Without seeing the actual footage you wouldn't exactly know which moves she was doing while [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pole_dancing]pole dancing[/url] (Link contains some examples) , she was performing this for quite some time according to the article.

        FYI many health clubs now offer Pole Dancing classes. Why? Becuase Pole Dancing requires a great deal of balance and coordination.

        Alcohol reduces judgement while at the same time reducing balance and coordination. As the amount of alcohol she consumed increased her judgement would decrease along with her coordination and ballance which also would decrease her abilty to perform the pole dance.

        I think explanation 2 is very likely. On the other hand I don't think the band should not be held accountable at all... as they most likely suspected she was under 21, hence wouldn't legally be able to be served.
        Edward Meyers
  • The LA times is stretching things here

    [i]erasing lines that once separated the private and the public.[/i]

    If the story is correct the girl knew she was signing up to be in a music video. There were video cameras there and I suppose the form included the rights to be shown in the video.

    That is hardly blurring the public and private life. If someone signs up to be in a movie, TV show, video, or any other broadcast and performs in front of a cameraman then how is that private? The entire argument is stupid.

    I suppose if the advertisement was on the band's website, on a flyer posted across town, or in a local magazines then the LA times would have felt better?

    In short where the advertisement to be in the video is not really relevant.

    Now what is relevant is;

    1. They served a minor alcohol. The question is was she properly IDed. Would a bar have done the same level of ID check.

    2. I would assume that they entered into an employment relationship with her, if they are hiring her to be an extra in a video. Did they do the required checks for this agreement (Typically for employment it is 2 forms of ID).

    3. Did the band know or should have reasonably expected that she was under 18. If so they shouldn't have served her the alcohol and shouldn't have taped/aired the footage of her baring her breast or pole dancing.

    4. At which point did the band know she was not 18? And did they continue to air the video after this was known.

    5. How bad was the video? The story claims some nudity was involved. In the US pornographic videos have to obtain/retain certain information verifying that the individuals on the video are over 18 and compliance with this has to be posted.

    Those are the real questions here.
    Edward Meyers
  • A good reason for a whuppin

    So a 16-yr-old girl voluntarily accepts alcohol, then commits lewd acts and SHE's suing someone? Sounds like someone needs her butt busted...
    jsm555
  • 16 year old behavior not the issue

    Anyone can file a lawsuit, the uproar is misquided. 16 is below the age of consent. How about some uproar about bad behavior of GGW. How old should a girl be before some indignation arises, 14? 12?

    Her lawsuit may be silly, not the point, prosecute anyone who contributes to the delinquency of a minor.

    Hannibal
    bo-texas@...
  • Who's responsible?

    The girl's old enough to present a fake ID to get into the event, she's old enough to take the embarrasment of her [high school] classmates seeing it on the Internet. I don't see anything in her behavior but a hungry shark - excuse me, I meant attorney.

    And if the band didn't think to *really* check ID's at the door, this oughta through a scare into them about what can happen if you don't.

    15 minutes of fame are up. Let's grow up.
    cchamb2
  • Who's responsible?

    The girl's old enough to present a fake ID to get into the event, she's old enough to take the embarrasment of her [high school] classmates seeing it on the Internet. I don't see anything in her behavior but a hungry shark - excuse me, I meant attorney.

    And if the band didn't think to *really* check ID's at the door, this oughta throw a scare into them about what can happen if you don't.

    15 minutes of fame are up. Let's grow up.
    cchamb2
  • Oh, the humiliation!

    I hope the girl loses her suit (haha). Piled on top of that will be the realization her face ...err body ...err whatever is immortalized in a music video for one of the worst songs by one of the worst bands ever. I mean, honestly, it's almost as bad as having Crossfade at the top of your favorite artists list.
    jskins