From the Legal Desk: The Earth Is Round

One of the more brilliant bits of writing is found in the Introduction of the lawsuit--SMARTMATIC USA CORP., SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL HOLDING B.V., and SGO CORPORATION LIMITED, Plaintiffs, -against FOX CORPORATION, FOX NEWS NETWORK LLC, LOU DOBBS, MARIA BARTIROMO, JEANINE PIRRO, RUDOLPH GIULIANI, and SIDNEY POWELL, Defendants—filed in the Supreme Court of New York.

It includes:

1. The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable.

2. Defendants have always known these facts. They knew Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 U.S. election. They knew the election was not stolen. They knew the election was not rigged or fixed. They knew these truths just as they knew the Earth is round and two plus two equals four.

3. Defendants did not want Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to win the election. They wanted President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence to win re-election. Defendants were disappointed. But they also saw an opportunity to capitalize on President Trump’s popularity by inventing a story. Defendants decided to tell people that the election was stolen from President Trump and Vice President Pence.

4. Defendants had an obvious problem with their story. They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil.

5. Without any true villain, Defendants invented one. Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story. . . .

6. Those facts would not do for Defendants. So, the Defendants invented new ones. . . .

Not only is this simplicity potentially devastating for the defendants (perhaps not uncoincidentally, Lou Dobbs’ show was canceled by Fox the day after the suit was filed, which tells you something), but the opening is a good description of law suits of all types. Subtract the specifics of the claim, the individuals involved, and note how there are simple things that are known and that people have a tendency to make things up to their advantage. Sometimes the creation of the fiction is predicated simply on the people involved not knowing better. Sometimes it is to try to gain an advantage. (Which is the case in this case: weaving a conspiracy that includes the election equipment and software company in a nefarious undertaking to prevent their Dear Leader from holding on to his position was undoubtedly thought to be good for ratings, and ratings mean money, and Smartmatic’s is a $2.7-billion defamation lawsuit that will undoubtedly make Rudy sweat more than he did outside the Four Seasons Lawn & Landscaping building.)

While it isn’t nearly to the degree of the Smartmatic lawsuit, the CEO of Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove, Utah, has filed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift because she released an album named “Evermore.”

According to Techdirt, the park owner’s suit:

states that the company has poured millions into the branding of Evermore Park, including the purchase of domain names, advertising, etc. $37 million dollars, to be precise. Point of note: Bretschneider [CEO of the facility] himself indicates that the park has had 140k guests since its genesis in 2018. That’s roughly $265 in just branding costs per guest…ever. None of that takes into account operational costs for the park, HR, legal, etc. Unless the park charges attendees hundreds of dollars per entry, it’s tough to see how this math makes any sense, but I digress.

Another point Bretschneider makes is that the park had two original songs written that are for sale on Apple Music under the “Evermore” trademark. You can imagine literally millions of Swifties being absolutely confused by this situation.

The Techdirt story quotes from Swift’s lawyers’ response, which points out something that is almost “The Earth is round” in its simplicity. Apparently the Evermore Park filing includes a point that website traffic for Evermore Park dropped during the week of December 6-12.

Which bring up a few considerations. For one, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average temperatures in Pleasant Grove, Utah, are a high of 40 and a low of 22, which is not exactly the type of temperature range that makes for a happy theme park outing.

Then there is the issue of COVID (on November 8, for example, the Utah government declared a state of emergency due to COVID—although being a business-friendly kind of guy, then-governor Herbert didn’t close any businesses, just insisted on masks and social distancing).

And the absolute kicker about the problem between December 6-12 and Evermore Park web traffic: The name of Swift’s album wasn’t announced until December 10.

Let’s face it: what is the likelihood that someone is going to confuse a Taylor Swift release with a theme park? What is the likelihood that someone who wants to go to a theme park is going to be put off the mission by stumbling upon a website dedicated to a record?

Ah, but Swift is a villain. She also happens to be rich.

Two plus two. . . .

Here’s something to think about: In 2014 Led Zeppelin was sued by a journalist representing the Rand Craige Wolfe Trust (this will get us too deep in the weeds to explain who’s who), with the claim being made that “Stairway to Heaven” was a complete rip-off of Spirit’s “Taurus.” In 2016 Zep won. But then there was an appeal in 2018, and a new trial. Zep won the case again, which was then appealed again to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in October 2020 declined to hear the case, which ended the song saga.

Presumably, all of this cost Zeppelin a bit of dosh.

Track 3 on “Led Zeppelin IV” is “The Battle of Evermore,” written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

One wonders whether there is a court filing in their future. . . .

Video: Taylor Swift – “evermore” (ft. Bon Iver)

Taylor Swift - evermore (Official Lyric Video) ft. Bon Iver

From evermore (Republic, 2020).

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