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Some Cars Don’t Like to be Defamed!

Okay, I’m being a bit sensationalist–but I’m referring to Obama-Backed Tesla Sues Its Critics, which notes:

Subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of a half-a-billion dollars (Obama “investing” your money), Tesla Corporation — and by extension, the feds — has been embarrassed by car journalist Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear TV show on BBC. It seems a Tesla Roadster when driven hard on the track (and owners who shell out six-figures for sports cars like to know these things) goes a mere 55 miles. Not the 200 that Tesla’s PR machine claims. What’s more, Top Gear — which does not yet suffer from green political correctness like car mags stateside — says the “car of the future” takes 16 hours to recharge, and recommends (tongue planted firmly in cheek) that buyers shell out another $100,000 for a second Tesla while the other one recharges.

Ouch. Welcome to the real world, electric cars.

Tesla’s response? Sue ’em!

Presumably for defamation (and yes, defamation rights should be regarded as a type of IP right).1 Not sure what is more outrageous–the lawsuit, or this example of the poor being taxed to benefit the rich.

It reminds me of the time Oprah Winfrey was sued by Texas cattle farmers for “defaming” their beef on her show (luckily, she was successfully defended by Chip Babcock, a partner at my former Houston law firm–who apparently continues to defend her from defamation lawsuits).

  1. See Kinsella, “Defamation Law and Reputation Rights as a Type of Intellectual Property,” in You Can’t Own Ideas. []
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Alberto Dietz April 12, 2011, 5:52 pm

    Game, set, match: Messrs. Kinsella & Clarkson.

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