If—like so many of us—you have fond memories of the 1999 cult comedy movie “Office Space,” you probably remember the exuberant sartorial requirements of the chain restaurant “Chotchkie’s” where Jennifer Aniston’s character worked as a waitress.
More than a decade later, the cult success of “Office Space” spawned a lawsuit by actor Todd Duffey. He played Brian, a particularly grating member of the Chotchkie’s wait-staff, who was held up as a shining example of the restaurant’s “maximum flair” policy. If you don’t remember him, he’s this guy:
Duffey felt his image had been unjustly used to sell a spin-off product from the movie: the Office Space Box of Flair, which contained a small book about the movie along with “fifteen flair buttons printed with fun sayings and designs.” He filed suit against 20th Century Fox last year, seeking damages, attorney’s fees and “destruction of the allegedly illegal flair“ that featured his photograph.
Unfortunately for Duffey, when he agreed to his “Office Space” role, he signed a “Day Player Agreement” with the movie’s production company, which granted the firm “all rights throughout the universe” (yes, that is the legal usage) to his performance, “including the right to use pictures from his performance for commercial purposes,” US district court judge J. Paul Oetken wrote in a decision issued on March 27.
“There is only one reasonable way to read the relevant terms: Duffey granted Cubicle all rights to 17 images of his performance in Office Space, including the right to use his image on Office Space merchandise,” the judge concluded, dismissing the lawsuit.