And Finally Artist News Legal

Fall Out Boy sued for excessive use of llamas

By | Published on Tuesday 19 March 2019

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy are being sued by puppet maker Furry Puppet Studio Inc for using the stuffed llamas created for their ‘Young And Menace’ video far beyond the remit of the original licence. The legal action also says that the band are “dishonestly and absurdly” claiming to be co-creators of the puppets.

FPS says that the llama puppets were made for the music video and licensed for that use only. However, since then they have been brought out on stage at live shows, featured on various pieces of merchandise, had their own emojis created, made TV appearances and more. These uses are “so far beyond the scope of the initial project”, says the lawsuit, that the creators would require “omniscient clairvoyance” to have foreseen them.

“At no point was plaintiff ever told that the puppets would be consistently performing on stage, or for all 80 concerts on the tour”, says the lawsuit, according to Billboard. “And it certainly could not be inferred that they were being used for merchandise (t-shirts, key chains, stuffed animals), GIFs, television appearances, emojis, apps and social media. At no point did plaintiff give permission for the puppets to be used/exploited in the widespread way they were”.

The company is also annoyed that Fall Out Boy allegedly claimed in correspondence before FPS took legal action that they co-created the puppets in 2017.

This is “impossible” for a number of reasons, says the lawsuit. First, the original designs for the puppets were made two years before FPS was contacted about the Fall Out Boy video. Secondly, the only creative suggestions the company was sent during the project came from video production outfit Rubrik House and the band’s management firm Crush Music, rather than the band themselves, and these were just “other artists’ monster concepts … for ideas”.

“Not only were these ideas not used”, the legal filing notes, “but ideas are not even copyrightable expression which could give rise to joint authorship”.

Furry Puppet Studio is being represented by Francis Malofiy in the case, who also represented the estate of Randy Wolfe in its claim that Led Zeppelin ripped off Spirit song ‘Taurus’ for their hit ‘Stairway To Heaven’. The company is seeking damages and a court order to stop the band using the puppets beyond their original licence.

Fall Out Boy have not commented on the new lawsuit. You can see the llamas at work here though: