Re: It's not a joke. Really, I'm serious.

From: Bradley A. Slutsky <bslutsky[_at_]>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 10:37:47 +0000

On Tue, 10 Sep 1996, Island Multimedia <imm[_at_]> wrote:

> Seriously, can a joke fall under copyright?

Yes. See the case in which we represented Jeff Foxworthy: 879 F. Supp. 1200, particularly pages 1217-1219.

> Say I heard this joke and recreated it here, using my own unique
> choice of words and phrases. The original theme is not mine. Can
> I copyright this joke? Is there any precedent in a situation like
> this?

"[T]wo entertainers can tell the same joke, but neither entertainer can use the other's combination of words. ... Plaintiff clearly established at the hearing that all of the jokes copied by the defendants were not only his own ideas, but his own expression. ...  [D]efendants clearly copied that expression verbatim. Accordingly, plaintiff has shown a likelihood of success on the merits of his copyright claim." _Foxworthy v. Custom Tees, Inc._, 879 F. Supp. 1200, 1219 (N.D. Ga. 1995).

> P.S. Sorry if its an old joke. I've been out of the country for
> four years.

Back in law school, they used to tell that joke about law firms. Instead of a software demo, the good version of hell was portrayed as law firms' summer programs.

Bradley A. Slutsky*Atlanta, Georgia, USA*bslutsky[_at_]

Copyright 1996 by Brad Slutsky--all rights reserved. This mail message is NOT legal advice. I do not purport to speak for my employer or any of its clients. I may not even be expressing my own views. Nothing in this mail message shall be construed as a solicitation of any kind or as binding on myself, my employer, or any of its clients. Include this disclaimer in any fair use of this mail message.

Received on Thu Sep 12 1996 - 14:41:43 GMT

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