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Bill Murray gets legal threat from Doobie Brothers for using song to sell ‘ugly’ shirts

The Doobie Brothers threaten legal action against Bill Murray for using their song to sell "ugly" golf clothing. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)
The Doobie Brothers threaten legal action against Bill Murray for using their song to sell “ugly” golf clothing. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

Bill Murray and the Doobie Brothers star in today’s feud you probably didn’t see coming — but then again, it’s 2020.

A lawyer for the Doobie Brothers hilariously asked Murray pay up for using one of the group’s songs in a commercial without permission. Attorney Peter T. Paterno fired off a letter to the Caddyshack star and the only way to describe it is epic. It all started when Murray used the hit “Listen to the Music” in an advertisement for his William Murray line of golf clothing.

“It’s a fine song. I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for your Zero Hucks Given golf shirts. However, given that you haven’t paid to use it, maybe you should change the company name to ‘Zero Bucks Given,’” Paterno, one of music’s most powerful lawyers, begins. He notes that Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers wrote the song.

“We understand that you’re running other ads using music from other of our clients. It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump,” the letter continues.

“This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States Copyright Act, excoriate you for not complying with some subparagraph that I’m too lazy to look up and threaten you with eternal damnation for doing so,” Paterno adds. “But you already earned that with those Garfield movies. And you already know you can’t use music in ads without paying for it.”

The letter concludes with one final zinger: “We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner shared the whole letter on Twitter.

A lawyer for Murray didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

Paterno is well known in the industry and is even familiar with Murray on the golf course.

“He let a foursome I was in play through him once,” Paterno said in an email to the New York Times on Thursday. “While we teed off, he took a nap, resting his head on the tee marker. It was pretty funny.”

Murray started the clothing company with his brothers in 2017. For what it’s worth, the Zero Hucks Given polo shirt is on sale for $49.90.

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