Bill Murray’s golf company responds to the Doobie Brothers’ copyright infringement claims

The band’s legal team had written to the actor alleging he used one of their songs without permission

Bill Murray’s golf company have responded to the Doobie Brothers’ request for damages for an alleged breach of copyright.

The actor’s golf apparel brand William Murray Golf is said to have used the group’s 1972 hit ‘Listen To The Music’ in a TV advert for a new shirt without permission.

The letter from the Doobie Brothers’ attorney Peter T. Paterno gained attention both for its claims and the humorous style in which it was written. “The Doobie Brothers perform and recorded the song Listen to the Music, which Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers wrote,” he wrote.


“It’s a fine song. I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for your Zero Hucks Given golf shirts. However, given that you haven’t paid to use it, maybe you should change the name to ‘Zero Bucks Given’.”

Now, Murray’s lawyer has responded in kind with their own glib letter. Alexander Yoffe of the Yoffe & Cooper law firm began by complimenting Paterno on “finding levity in the law at a time when the world and this country certainly could use a laugh”.

He continued to confirm that both those working at the law firm and at William Murray Golf were fans of the Doobie Brothers, noting that was why “we appreciate your firm’s choice of ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’, rather than to the courts, which are already overburdened ‘Minute By Minute’ with real problems”.

Bill Murray
Bill Murray CREDIT: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Yoffe went on to say that the Doobie Brothers had not been “harmed” by the adverts. “In the immortal words of Mr. Murray – the more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything,” he wrote. “So let’s pour one up and unwind with a listen of the recently-released ‘Quadio’ box set and plan to cross paths at a Doobie Brothers’ 50th anniversary show in 2021 when some level of normalcy resumes.

“As your client so aptly stated in this classic song in question, ‘What the people need is a way to make them smile’ – which both Bill and the Doobies have been doing for decades, as world-class entertainers.”


The letter ended with Yoffe offering to send William Murray Golf shirts to the band – a gesture he hoped would “win each of you over as new fans of the brand… At least that’s ‘what this fool believes’.”

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Murray spoke about working on the newest movie in the Ghostbusters franchise and how he’d missed actors Rick Moranis and Harold Ramis, who starred in the original movie.