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The bird on the back.
October 09 2004
Saturday
Reservoir Blogs
David Carr • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Bloglaw 
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The phenomenon of ‘celebrity blogging’ appears to have experienced a big boost with the launch of Quentin Tarantino’s Blog.

Or has it? Judging from the e-mails sent to “Quentin”, the reader’s response has been heavily coloured by a fairly high degree of scepticism as to whether the blog in question is really the enterprise of the real Quentin Tarantino or whether it is the handiwork of an fan/prankster merely posing as cult movie director.

This is a sample of just such a e-mail response:

What does your e-mail address, Tarantinoed@yahoo.com, mean? I’d say your obviously a hoax because Tarantino aint gonna have a yahoo account and use tarantinoed as a word it sounds shitty.

To which the reply is:

I don’t have an official website, although that IS being worked on right now. I’ve got a webmaster interested already. Then I’d stop using the blog and use the official site to answer e-mails.

Earlier, “Quentin” says:

I’ve been out of town for a while so let’s get straight down to it.

Over the past week a lot of people have been releasing statements saying this blog is a fake, and I’ve been asked to make a public announcement saying the same thing.

Here’s something for all you people to chew on: You want to know why Miramax and I haven’t denied the blog?

Because it’s real.

So is it the blog of the real Quentin Tarantino or isn’t it?

I tend towards the view that it is the real Mr. Tarantino. Or, if not directly set up and run by him, than it has at least been endorsed by him. 

The reason I say this is because of the legal principle of ‘false endorsement’ which was established, as far as the UK is concerned, in the landmark case of ‘Irvine .v. Talksport Ltd’.

‘Talksport’ is a UK-based commercial radio station that issued a publicity brochure featuring a doctored photograph of the Irish Formula One racing driver, Eddie Irvine, appearing to hold a ‘Talksport’ radio up to his ear. The intended effect was to convey the impression that Mr. Irvine had ‘endorsed’ Talksport. Mr. Irvine had not only done no such thing, but upon finding out about the brochure in question, he also got straight onto his lawyers and sued, claiming ‘false endorsement’.

Mr. Irvine won and Talksport was left with a hefty bill for damages and legal costs.

Celebrity endorsement is a valuable commodity for the celebrity concerned. It is something which can attract valuable contractual consideration which benefits not just the celebrity financially but also the party has purchased the said ‘endorsement’ (in terms of sales). The Irvine case established the principle that the celebrity endorsement can be considered ‘property’ that should not be taken without permission (and it also inched us closer to the idea of ‘trademark’ celebrity images - but that is another discussion for another day).

Now, of course, everything I have discussed thus far concerns UK law but I find it difficult to believe that a similar principle would not be resoundingly handed down by any Court in the USA which, traditionally, is more commercially ferocious and litigous than the UK.

If the ‘Quentin Tarantino Blog’ was the work of an imposter, it seems unlikely that word of it would not have somehow got back to either Mr. Tarantino or his advisers who, in response, would be able to shut it down in a heartbeat. The fact that this blog is still up and going strong indicates to me that it is most likely to be the real ‘motherf***ing’ thing.

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