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Band Stickers and the Municipal Code

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Mo'Phat, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. So I open up my emails this morning and have received one from 'somebody at the city' saying that My Company (the band) is in violation of Municipal Code suchandsuch for placing stickers on a public right-of-way (ie: Street signs, light poles, electrical boxes) and the like. Language in the email included "This will be your only warning.", "This law provides for assessing sticker removal costs and civil penalties that currently are at $100 per sticker for repeat offenders.", "Our communities consider your approach to advertising as graffiti..."...since we consider our stickers an advertising device, they're emblazoned with our website address, which is how they were able to email me.

    As you can see, I have a problem. I read the municipal code and there's a provision: I can file a declaration rebutting Presumption of Responsible Party...essentially stating that, hey, I just handed out the stickers, it's not my problem where they went.

    Since everybody here is infinitely more intelligent than I, what legal legs do I have to stand on? I currently have nearly 1,000 stickers out there somewhere (that's how many I've given away), so I'd rather not have to give the city $100,000 for violations.
  2. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I'd go for it and add that you'd be willing to remove what you can.
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    They sent you an email?! Are you sure that this is legit?
  4. i agree, and the price for removing said stickers seems a lil extreme, im thinking it is one of your friends playing with you
  5. It's possible that it's false, but we do have our website address on our stickers and any email to that domain would be sent to the address this email was sent to.

    The person who sent the email didn't have a phone number (even though it is listed on our website), and said they're from the "Office of Neighborhood Code Compliance", named towns where I know our stickers are everywhere, and left a phone number to contact for questions.

    Maybe I should call the number?
  6. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Someone's messing with you.
  7. Replay and disavow (sp?) all knowledge of any incidents.

    Sounds like you might be getting pranked though.
  8. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    I would ignore it. E-mails are not an acceptable form of notice in any legal matter. It's either a scare tactic or
    a hoax. Until you get formally served with a notice to appear
    nobody can do a damn thing to you.

  9. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    It's possible it's legit; it's also possible it's a fake. You don't have adequate information to make a good determination and although I like TalkBass, this forum wouldn't be my first choice for legal advice.

    If they are "stickers" that could have multiple functions, you are on much safer ground than if they are posters for specific shows and such. I think they would have to prove that you stood to benefit in some way from the stickers being placed where they were. Otherwise, it is much as you said; you gave things away and folks were naughty with them.

    I would seek advice from someone with a legal background and knowledge of the enforcement of local codes in your area.
  10. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Can you see your local village constibulary contacting the owners of Nike to complain about Nike stickers being plastered all over, say, a police car? By email?

    Yeah, neither can I.

    I'm not a lawyer so I advise that you not listen to me. But someone is probably messing with you. If you still have the email, you can view the email header to see what mail server your ISP's mail server got the email from. If it looks official then it bears investigation, but chances are the originating address is from Hotmail or something.

    If they're really pissed about it they will present you with something written, or it never happened. It's too easy for things like that to be wiped out by spam filters for it to be an official document.
  11. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    get a lawyer.

    since you were in the band when the sticker was placed on the sign, and since the owner of the sign said that you are the provider of said sticker, a judge at sticker court will find you legally responsible for the sticker, and order you to pay sticker support.

    and dont bother getting a dna test to prove that you had nothing to do with stickering up the sign, because sticker court has a kangaroo clause that states that they can do whatever they damn well please as long as its in the best interest of the sticker, the sign, themselves, or anybody else who is not YOU.
  12. There's some damn funny replies here...

    I wasn't really asking for legal advice, moreso just asking peer musicians if anyone has run into this problem or if it's commonplace.

    Dude has a Roadrunner (cable service provider) account.

    Maybe I should press charges of sticker harrassment against him...I feel I've been violated by his heinous charges of sticker malpractice...Those stickers were placed as an expression of personality, and when they were removed, it was as if I was 'pantsed and wedgied' in a crowded square. I'm calling Johnnie Cochran.

    I have since come to the conclustion that this is most likely a crotchety old man (or young man...just crotchety for some reason) that has a form e-mail that he sends out to anybody who has a readily-trackable advertisement or sticker. Consider him blown

    off, I mean.

  13. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    We've have the same scrutiny. Our little town has come down on bands very hard. We had to pay a $250 fine for plastering the city. I'd do what you can to remedy the situation before it gets out of hand. Our band name doesn't help either, but screw the man anyway.
  14. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Sounds to me like it's some group of moms that call themselves an organization against the defamation of their communities. Similar thing happened to a band in my hometown, went by the name "we lick." When "We Lick" stickers started being plastered all over town, a few people got offended, and tried to scare them into cleaning it all up by saying they could face fines.
  15. Actually, the one good suggestion that I received was to print a load of really small disclaimer labels and put them on the back of the stickers, basically saying that we're not responsible for where the stickers end up. That way, if anything does happen, we can say that we gave the stickers away with the caveat that, although we hope they are placed on legal and legitimate locales, we cannot be held liable for the actions of our idiot fans...I mean legion of devoted, intelligent, music appreciators.
  16. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I'm sure no-one in any administration would send any e-mails without proper signature fields containing at least name, position, office, e-mail address, phone number, fax number, street address et cetera. They are always there.

    Also, official people tend to use very polite, almost dull language when approaching matters like this. It's just the proper way of handling things, and these people do it by the book.

    I think someone's playing a prank on you, or it's someone who doesn't have anything else to do than to whine about everything. Either way, you should be good until anything official shows up.
  17. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    How do you figure? It's a pleasure reading your posts Mo, mainly because it's so nice to read someone's replies here on TB without five typos per sentence, no caps or punctuation, "your" when they mean "you're", etc., etc.

    And btw, my Dad's a lawyer and he says someone's messin' with ya. ;)
  18. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Someone's messing with you.

  19. Wow...thanks Craig, wow. (for what it's worth, I was an English major, so that may have something to do with teh grammmer. ;))

    I have a hunch that, yes...someone is messing with me. Crotchety, disgruntled, over-stickered men are the grease that keep small towns runnin' smooth.

    "Email? What email? I never received an email, and we don't put stickers on public right-of-ways...so eat me, Mr. Clark."

    Thanks alot for the advice, people, and may this thread pass into the netherworld in peace.

    Jazzbo, you can go ahead and close this bad boy down.