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Thread: Plagiarism

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    Premium Member sheela's Avatar
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    Plagiarism

    I was wondering: How do comics handle plagiarism? I'm not knowledgeable about comedy, but I imagine that a lot of folks must steal each other's material or at least happen to come up with the same bits. So can you copyright your set?

    I ask because with just 10 comics in the house we've seen a lot of allegations of theft already. I want to know if you could sue successfully for plagiarism. Also if it turns out that you were falsely accused, could you sue successfully for defamation?

    I realize that this is unfair but when I hear the same bit from 2 different comics, I always assume the one I happened to hear first is the original and the second is the plagiarist.

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    FORT Regular missamyh's Avatar
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    I don't know a lot about it. But I do know that Joan River's sued one of her impersonator's and won. The impersonator was imitating her and doing her jokes. The judge ruled that he could imitate her, but he had to come up with his own jokes. I don't think and I might be remembering this wrong, But I don't think she got money, just an order for the person to stop using her material.
    So there are legal avenue's that can be taken. How many do it I don't know.
    In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.
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    Premium Member sheela's Avatar
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    Thanks, missamyh. I didn't know about the Joan River's ruling.

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    FORT Fan zapata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missamyh
    I don't know a lot about it. But I do know that Joan River's sued one of her impersonator's and won. The impersonator was imitating her and doing her jokes. The judge ruled that he could imitate her, but he had to come up with his own jokes. I don't think and I might be remembering this wrong, But I don't think she got money, just an order for the person to stop using her material.
    So there are legal avenue's that can be taken. How many do it I don't know.
    Wasn't that a "female impersonator" though? I think that is a little different in that I think all of them, when they do Cher or Judy, they lip-sync their actual hits, so I could see them thinking they could take her actual material or trying to- I think that was a guy in Vegas- I could be wrong- can you "copyright" just one joke? I think you have to have more than one being done for you to actually sue though I could be wrong.-

    People might not remember this if they are young, but Joan Rivers used to be the guest-host for Johnny Carson and the ratings would go through the roof- she was hilarious but they got into a "war" and he refuses to have any of that footage shown anywhere so no one has seen it since the 80's but she was really really funny. She would come out and sit on a "stool" and just rant and rave- just like her act, but it's shame no one can see the Carson footage because she was at her peak, looks and delivery wise-she KILLED. She would rant on Elizabeth Taylor being fat and Elizabeth wouldn't talk to her for a decade because of it. She said, "Elizabeth Taylor is so fat, she puts food in the microwave and screams "HURRY!!!!" "Elizabeth Taylor wore a yellow dress last week and 12 schoolchildren tried to board her." "Elizabeth Taylor has more chins than a chinese phone book." It was mean, but hilarious, Taylor was livid, got revenge by losing all her weight, and didn't speak to her for ten years. Rivers was a sensation on that show. You really had to be there, though, and if you didn't see it, you never will.

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    FORT Regular missamyh's Avatar
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    Your Right it was a man impersonatin Joan Rivers, and yes he was and probably still is in Vegas. He has even had plastic surgery to make himself look more like her. I don't know what the legality of someone using another's material.
    But I remember Joan in her hey day and she was really good. She would put herself down, she say things like, some woman have knockers, I have doorbells.
    In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.
    Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

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    thinks he's so smart MyNameIsKenny's Avatar
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    I'm sad that this thread hasn't gotten more answers, because I'm seriously interested in this topic.

    I've heard that Denis Leary gets very little respect in some comedy circles because his entire shtick was a ripoff of Bill Hicks. I'd like to know if this is true.
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    Don't Panic senrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missamyh
    Your Right it was a man impersonatin Joan Rivers, and yes he was and probably still is in Vegas. He has even had plastic surgery to make himself look more like her. I don't know what the legality of someone using another's material.
    But I remember Joan in her hey day and she was really good. She would put herself down, she say things like, some woman have knockers, I have doorbells.
    The fact that someone would want to look like Joan Rivers makes me very frightened.
    Even more.... The fact that Joan Rivers has done facelifts to make her look like joan rivers is moreso...
    "The purpose of the new capitalism is to shoot the wounded." ~ Andy Grove, Chairman, Intel Corporation

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    FORT Regular missamyh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senrik
    The fact that someone would want to look like Joan Rivers makes me very frightened.
    Even more.... The fact that Joan Rivers has done facelifts to make her look like joan rivers is moreso...

    Well you know it's probably a race for him to keep up : ) (Damn it she has a new chin)(damn you Joan damn you)

    But she actually ended up making him a millionaire. His name is Frank Marino and he signed a $10 million dollar contract with the "La Cage" in Vegas.

    But in the suit money was not exchanged, he just has to use his own material and not hers.
    In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.
    Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

  9. #9
    Don't Panic senrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missamyh
    Well you know it's probably a race for him to keep up : ) (Damn it she has a new chin)(damn you Joan damn you)

    But she actually ended up making him a millionaire. His name is Frank Marino and he signed a $10 million dollar contract with the "La Cage" in Vegas.

    But in the suit money was not exchanged, he just has to use his own material and not hers.
    Just the Thought of that arms race is odd, funny and, well, umm, takes away everything DVM has worked on for us guys.....
    "The purpose of the new capitalism is to shoot the wounded." ~ Andy Grove, Chairman, Intel Corporation

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