Watch out folks. “Officer Bubbles” (Toronto police constable Adam Josephs) is suing not just the people behind YouTube video parodies of his anti-bubble threat (example from a 2-day old account “MisterOfficerBubbles” channel that’s soon to vanish), but commenters as well. According to this post, Josephs is suing Todd “pussymcfats” Mara (age 33 and father of two) for more than $1 million for spoofing the original clip.
The original video, posted in July 2010, showed the constable warning an anti-G20 protester (nurse Courtney Winkles) not to blow bubbles at him. TheRealNews clip then attracted parodies, remixes and comments.
For a full background see The Toronto Star’s coverage of “pussymcfats” and “thepmocanada” (both accounts are closed). The Star reports that Josephs is suing and that, “Josephs suggests the cartoons and comments are “false and devastatingly defamatory” for implying that he is a narcissist, among other things.”
The entire event sounds quite familiar to me for reasons I’ve been advised not to express right now. But let’s just say that Josephs is unlikely to improve or recover his tarnished image through the lawsuits, and the parodies are likely covered by free speech and satire. Even if Josephs manages to win or settle for a trivial amount, it won’t likely cover the cost of his attorneys or the increasing damage of the drama.
Would you rather be known as the police officer who became perhaps legitimately frustrated when bubbles were blown in your face, or the guy who tried to sue people who commented on parodies and found it amusing? I think I speak for most employers in saying I’d hire the former, but not the latter.
Watch what you say in the comments, friends. The Canadian Mounties are watching.