- "Take Back the Night" is trademarked by a sexual assault awareness foundation
- Timberlake says his song and the lyrics have no connection to the foundation
- The singer has been threatened with legal action
Justin Timberlake was too busy bringing sexy back to go to college — which, on the whole, seems to have worked out just fine for him.
Unfortunately, it also means that when Timberlake decided to call his next single "Take Back the Night," he apparently had no idea that the name was already trademarked by a sexual assault awareness foundation that's been holding emotionally-charged campus events since the '70s.
Luckily, the Internet was there to inform Timberlake of his folly — leading the singer to release the following statement to Radar:
"Upon the release of my new single 'Take Back The Night,' I was made aware of an organization of the same name called The Take Back The Night Foundation. I wanted to take this opportunity to let all know that neither my song nor its lyrics have any association with the organization. As I've learned more about The Take Back The Night Foundation, I'm moved by its efforts to stop violence against women, create safe communities and encourage respectful relationships for women — something we all should rally around. It is my hope that this coincidence will bring more awareness to this cause."
Timberlake's words haven't exactly mollified Take Back the Night's leadership, which was understandably upset once it heard about his song (not to mention lyrics such as "C'mon, use me up until there's nothing left").
"It just shows how far we have to go when Take Back the Night as a historic movement to end sexual violence in all forms is still not widely enough known, according to Mr. Timberlake, that he claims he didn't know that we existed," TBTN executive director Katherine Koestner told Rolling Stone yesterday.
Koestner's organization sent a letter to Timberlake threatening legal action over using its name without permission; its volunteer lawyer is apparently still awaiting a response from Timberlake's team.