What Ever Happened To That Lawsuit Against David Cross?
Picture it. October 2005. News broke out that Thomas Weber, the manager of the Nashville nightclub, the Exit/In, had filed a complaint in federal court against David Cross and everyone involved with the recording and distribution of “Shut Up You Fucking Baby” and “Let America Laugh” for allegedly using and profiting from Weber’s likeness without his consent. From Weber’s 2005 press release:
The federal complaint alleges that the Defendants reaped several million dollars in gross receipts and royalties from the sale of these products, which feature and showcase Mr. Weber without his authority or consent as the opening scene on the DVD.
The only way this baby was going to shut up was with a judgment entered by the court for a buttload of money.
However, the events that transpired over the last year amount to no less than a colossal dickslap, a complete and total victory for the defense.
According to the Declaration of Shonali Bhowmik dated December 2, 2005:
“I remember signage plainly visible at the Exit-In on the date of the recording, to the effect that filming was taking place and that all persons by entering granted consent and agreement that recordings of them could be used in any manner whatsoever.”
The case docket reveals that the plaintiff–who was representing himself, mind you–was struck down time and again throughout the proceedings. He lost on a summary judgment gamble, was slapped with sanctions for court infractions, had his claims against David Cross dismissed back in April, and was ultimately left up against 4 faceless corporate defendants: Warner Music, SubPop Records, WEA Corporation, and the Alternative Distribution Alliance. As evidenced by Mr. Weber’s antagonistic website, WeAreNotLaughing.com (which has since been removed), Weber yearned to take David Cross down a peg, and that simply didn’t happen.
The deathblow came this past June. The remaining 4 defendants sought to end the costly litigation and proposed an Offer of Judgment to Mr. Weber for the sum of 30,000 dollars. Weber, in a ludicrous legal fast one, purported to have judgments entered against ALL FOUR defendants for 30 THOUSAND EACH–120,000 grand total. The original offer was then quashed alltogether and the case was quickly dismissed with prejudice on July 25th, with no award ordered to the Plaintiff.