Remember that lawsuit Fucked Up had against Rolling Stone / Camel cigarettes? Well, they lost.
Noncommercial speech doesn’t lose its broad First Amendment protections even when it’s tucked into a thicket of advertising, California’s 1st District Court of Appeal held Thursday.
A unanimous three-justice panel dismissed a lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine brought by a class of indie rockers. Led by bands Xiu Xiu and Fucked Up, the plaintiffs accused Rolling Stone of trading on the names of 186 groups listed in a five-page article to sell four pages of neighboring advertisements to R.J. Reynolds in the November 2007 edition.
The magazine’s so-called gatefold layout was intricate. The editorial piece “Indie Rock Universe” included colored-pencil-like graphics and the printed names of leading bands in the musical genre. The article was ensconced in four pages of ads featuring photographic collages that touted Camel cigarettes and the brand’s support of independent record labels.