San Francisco's city attorney is demanding that Justin Bieber's music publisher help determine who is responsible for sidewalk graffiti promoting the pop star's latest album.
City attorney Dennis Herrera sent a letter to Universal Music Group, saying the graffiti appears to have been applied with spray paint that has not come off even after recent rainstorms. That contrasts with other recent sidewalk marketing campaigns that have used chalk, Herrera said. He said public works crews have removed some of the graffiti at great expense, although he did not provide a figure. The city attorney's office released photographs of eight instances of the graffiti and asked for Universal's help in determining its full scope.
E-mails seeking comment from Universal Music Group were not returned. The graffiti promoting Bieber's new album, "Purpose," has been found in Haight-Ashbury and other neighborhoods. City officials have received complaints about it, Herrera said.
"This prohibited marketing practice illegally exploits our city's walkable neighborhoods and robust tourism, intentionally creates visual distractions that pose risks to pedestrians on busy rights of way, and irresponsibly tells our youth that like-minded lawlessness and contempt for public property are condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries," Herrera said.
Herrera's office previously went after a 2010 marketing campaign that glued decals of fake $25,000 bills to city sidewalks to promote an online game. An advertising agency agreed to pay the city a $45,000 penalty for the decals.
Suit over 'Big Bang Theory' song use
The heirs to a New Hampshire teacher who wrote a poem about a "soft kitty" eight decades ago said in a lawsuit that TV's "The Big Bang Theory" is violating their copyrights. Edith Newlin's daughters sued CBS and other media-related companies over the copyright to a song — written by Newlin in the 1930s — that the lawsuit says has repeatedly been used on the hit sitcom. The lyrics begin: "Soft kitty, warm kitty." "The Big Bang Theory" characters have periodically sung a lullaby involving that phrase, often to comfort theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons. A spokeswoman for CBS declined to comment. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
injured: Fans of Chita Rivera will have to wait a little longer to see her perform at Cafe Carlyle in 2016. The actress and singer postponed her January shows until April 19-30 after being injured in a fall over the Christmas holiday. She suffered a pelvic stress fracture. The two-time Tony winner and Kennedy Center honoree promised: "I'll be back!"