The Vandals ongoing battle with Variety Magazine took a more cerebral tone this week when two members of the New York Law School began looking into the case and bassist/lawyer Joe Escalante's defence. They noted:
Statements to the press and fans by Joe Escalante, the Vandals' bassist and its attorney, have stressed that the original album art is protected by the First Amendment as parody. And while that may be true, it's actually irrelevant to the case at hand. The media is mischaracterizing the current lawsuit as a free speech issue. Because the band signed the settlement agreement rather than litigating the underlying issue six years ago, only contractual issues arising from that document are up for dispute.
Joe responded in a separate discussion:
In 2004, they bullied artists to sign an agreement and permanent injunction to give up their 1st amendment rights or face burdensome litigation. This underlines the need for anti-SLAPP motions in federal court cases like this. The Vandals are involved in the public process as artists. The Daily Variety and Reed Elsevier should have to prove they are damaged by our parody to the extent that public policy would favor censoring us and people like us from creating art and parody, like for instance the television program Saturday Night Live. We will seek to overturn this "contract" because it violates public policy by restricting free speech.
Check out the discussion here.