Officer Bubbles wants his day in court. Canadian Constable Adam Josephs picked up the nickname “Officer Bubbles” after arresting a woman at the G20 protest for assault this summer for blowing bubbles that landed on him. The video of the event went viral on website YouTube, sparking dozens of parody videos where “Officer Bubbles” arrested such figures as Santa Claus and President Obama, among others. He is now suing YouTube for defamation for both posting the original video and allowing users to post the parodies.
Josephs’ lawsuit also takes issue with comments left by YouTube users about his arrest of the woman. He’s not the first person to try to go that legal route. Reports surfaced this week that model Carla Franklin is also suing YouTube and parent company Google over video and comments posted by Internet users on the site. She targets three particular users as being overly offensive in their posts, and is suing Google for access to their real identities, as well as for allowing the content to be posted.
Rapper 50 Cent tried suing an ad company three years ago that he claimed was using his image in an unauthorized ad game. He and his management took issue with the fact that the game involved players trying to shoot him before being sent to another website. The lawsuit claimed that he was personally offended by the game and the unauthorized use of his likeness.
Last year, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler tried to sue a group of anonymous bloggers over multiple posts that allegedly made disparaging comments about his mother, who had recently passed away. He sued to not only be able to get their real identities, but also over what he felt was inappropriate and damaging content. The case was thrown out of court.
Josephs is a private citizen, so he may fare slightly better legally. Some cases like this have gone forward. But while he might get a partial win that prevents YouTube from airing videos of him, he doesn’t have a chance against them when it comes to the comments by users. If early reactions hold true, he most likely will actually see more ridicule across the Internet because of the lawsuit, not less.
JJ Sutherland, “Officer Bubbles Sues for Defamation.” NPR.org
MG Siegler, “Cryin’: Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler Fails To Sue Anonymous Blogger” TechCrunch
Joan, “Carla Franklin: Model Sues Google (Video)” RightCelebrity.com
Associated Press, “Rapper 50 Cent Sues Over Internet Ad Using Look-Alike” FoxNews.com