by Mike Masnick
Thu, Feb 12th 2009 10:51am
Historically, jokes have always been things that were shared and passed on. The power of a joke is not in the idea behind the joke, but in the telling. Yet, in this era when people have it drilled into their brains over and over again that every creative thing is "ownable," we're now seeing this great tradition of joke sharing and joke telling stifled by claims of "ownership." The latest such example, found via Michael Scott, is that two people are suing over jokes in the Pink Panther movies. Specifically, Jean Epstein and Gary Stretch have sued "MGM, Sony, Fox, producer Robert Simonds, star Steve Martin and others" because they say the Pink Panther movies violate their copyright on certain jokes. Apparently, Epstein and Stretch made a short film that they placed on YouTube and iFilm, which included a few jokes that are similar to jokes in the movies. So, be careful next time you're "performing" a joke you heard somewhere else. Perhaps you'll get sued for copyright infringement.
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