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Posts tagged as copyright

A Russian Broadcasting Company Got Dan Klein's 'This Is Comedy' Special Removed from YouTube

Earlier this month, comedian Dan Klein released a fantastic collection of standup tropes and clichés in the form of an hourlong special titled This Is Comedy. Last week, however, Klein discovered that YouTube had removed his video due to a copyright claim by a Moscow-based broadcasting network named "OJSC TNT," which according to Businessweek focuses on "serial, reality-show, and talk-show programs for men and women." Klein's special clearly didn't include any footage from another source, let alone a Russian television show, but removing videos due to bizarre copyright claims is nothing new for YouTube. In any case, YouTube told Klein that if the claim is [...]

Did 'Glee' Plagiarize Jonathan Coulton's Cover of "Baby Got Back?"

Here's a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" from the Fox show Glee, set to air on next week's episode. Jonathan Coulton recorded a cover of the song with the same arrangement and melody back in 2005 and took to Twitter today to shed some light on the alleged plagiarism. Coulton says he was never contacted by the Glee folks about using his arrangement, and it's pretty obvious that they're ripping him off because the Glee version includes the line "Johnny C's in trouble," which is only in his version because it's his name. Hit the jump for Coulton's original track so you can decide for yourself:

How CSI:NY Most Definitely Didn't Steal My Story

When food blogger Monica Gaudio complained to editor Judith Griggs of Cooks Source magazine about the theft of her online article about apple pie, she asked for an apology and a small donation to the Columbia School of Journalism in lieu of payment. The incident never would have made national headlines had Griggs not condescendingly countered that Gaudio should pay her for cleaning up her article. "But honestly Monica," she wrote, in what has turned into a widely mocked meme, "the web is considered 'public domain' and you should be happy we didn’t just 'lift' your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!"

While Griggs' [...]

'THR' Explains Why Jokes Aren't Always Covered by the Copyright Act

THR ran an interesting guest column over the weekend called "Why It's So Hard to Get the Law to Protect a Good Joke" that explores intellectual rights and the Copyright Act in the context of joke theft accusations between comedians, pointing out the craft of comedy as some of the most difficult material to protect due to its always-evolving nature. From the article:

Although comedians may start with a written work — a script — the performance of the work rarely occurs without deviation. As a result, copyright may not issue because the work of authorship is not "fixed" in the manner necessary to establish a basis for [...]

An Open Letter to Jay Leno About Stealing My Video and Then Getting It Removed From YouTube

Dear Jay Leno,

First off, my intention is not to fight you on this. You have more cars than I have dollars, and so I know I don’t stand a chance legally, and on top of that, I don’t really understand how legal stuff works. But the truth is you kind of fucked up my shit and I need to talk to you about it.

In 2007 my good friend Travis Irvine was running for mayor of his home town, Bexley, Ohio. He asked for help making him a funny campaign commercial. So together, me and my pal Travis composed, performed and recorded an original campaign jingle onto my four track (we [...]

Fox Doesn't Care that 'Glee' Ripped Off Jonathan Coulton's Cover Song

Last week, a new song from the TV show Glee was released online, an acoustic cover version of Sir-Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" that used the same melody, arrangement, and even some new lyrics from musician/comedian/internet superstar Jonathan Coulton's 2005 cover of "Baby Got Back" without paying or crediting Coulton and without his permission. Coulton took to the internet about the plagiarism and a ton of people came out in support of him over the blatant theft of material. The episode with the song in it aired last night, and Jonathan Coulton has an update on the situation after talking to the folks at Fox (via his [...]

Man Claims The Hangover Part II Was Based on His Life

Michael Alan Rubin is suing Warner Brothers, arguing that the plot of The Hangover Part II was stolen from a script he wrote about his 2007 honeymoon in Thailand and India. He claims that the movie also constitutes an "exploitation of [his] private real life." Which begs the question, how much dignity would his life have to be exploited in the first place if he truly spent that much time with a monkey in a cutoff denim vest?

Rubin is also suing for defamation, claiming that "the filmmakers suggested the inference that he was under the influence of drugs when he ditched his girlfriend and proposed to a [...]