OTTAWA, CANADA - In an ironic twist, the world-famous Barenaked Ladies are leading a campaign to shut down the website Five-Minute Voyager, whose owner, "Zeke," is a professed fan.
Steven Page, the group's lead vocalist and most over-the-top personality, explained: "We've decided it's time to prevent the illegal distribution of material copyrighted to us. It's right there in the 'Workforce' parody -- not only did he take a line directly from one of our songs, but he even used our name without asking. He's a national disgrace."
"Steve's right," backed up backup vocalist Ed Robertson. "It's not just us, either. Zeke's been ripping lyrics from the Gin Blossoms, the Doors, Queen, I Mother Earth...even classical musicians like Verdi and Vivaldi haven't been spared. Well, okay, the ones whose names don't start with V have been spared, but still."
"I'm sure they'd object if they were alive," added bassist Jim Creeggan helpfully.
The band members were then asked who else was with them in the effort to end Mr. Zeke's reign of terror. "Um...er...well, there's us," replied drummer Tyler Stewart. "And other people who...hmm...asked not to be identified! Yeah, that'll do!"
Mr. Zeke's lawyer, Jeice O. Garricker, spoke to This Just In today on the issue. "Nah, they'll never pull it off," stated the attorney. "My client is convinced that the Ladies are doing this as a satirical statement about the Napster case; 'just goofing around,' in his words. And even if they're serious, the grounds are just too weak." On being reminded that his recent lawsuit against Paramount was based on far weaker grounds (unauthorized use of the phrase "five minutes"), Mr. Garricker replied, "That's different. Paramount is owned by Viacom, and we don't like them."
Various members of the music community have commented on the issue.
"Musical references can get you sued? Uh oh," worried parodist Cureboy. "I'd better hope The Cure doesn't read my stuff...."
"You didn't see me complaining after that 'It's not easy being blue' thing," commented famed Muppet Kermit the Frog.
"How come I didn't get a quote?" asked keyboardist Kevin Hearn. "I'm one of the Barenaked Ladies too! So what if I joined a little later than the others? Does that make me less important? Huh? Huh?"
"Zeke hasn't infringed on us yet, but we're watching him very closely," commented heavy metal band Metallica.
"We debated taking action after Zeke used one of our album titles," commented Goo Goo Dolls member Johnny Rzeznick, "but we decided it wasn't that big a deal. He'd better not push it, though. If he writes another fiver which involves the word 'goo' in any form, we'll have to take drastic action."
If Five-Minute Voyager is shut down, various groups intend to launch underground "Zeke alternatives" which will fill the same purpose as the original. It is likely, however, that these alternatives will be slower and less efficient. This reporter is very much in favour of sticking it to the Man by these and other means, but don't tell his boss.