Sheesh, what is wrong with the world today. We all need to chill out and laugh some more. Thank God for comedians like the Wayan Brothers that have been making us laugh since the end of times. Hahahahaha. CUT! Stop. This ain’t funny. The Wayan brothers have actually been sued for stealing jokes from another. *Rolls eyes* Say it ain’t so. Err . . . yes it is so.
“Trial alert! On July 12th, the best comedy in Los Angeles will not be heard at the Improv, but rather a federal court as the Wayans brothers face down a former assistant who charges that Keenen, Shawn and Marlon ripped off jokes for their book, “You Know You’re a Golddigger When…”
Jared Edwards worked for the comedy family for a decade and wrote jokes about women who prey upon wealthy men. He claims he pitched the idea for book that would include material like “You know you’re a golddigger when you know more about sports players’ stats than an ESPN analyst.”
The Wayan brothers rejected the idea, then allegedly did their own version.
Joke theft allegations have been around almost as long as the first “Knock, Knock” joke, but recently, comedians have become more sensitive to laugh larceny, raising the copyright infringement card.
Because Edwards worked for the Wayans brothers, this case goes a bit above and beyond the typical plagiarism routine of a plaintiff struggling to prove the copying of expression rather than theft of unprotected ideas. Edwards is claiming that the Wayanses (and St. Martin’s Press) not only committed copyright infringement but also breached an implied promise to pay him for use of his ideas. Writers alleging this type of allegation have increasingly been successful in passing judicial muster. . .”
THR., Esq. has the full story.
The Wayan Brothers settle! Woohoo! GREAT. Now we can all go back to laughing and lightening up a bit. Phew! Can you imagine what would have happened if they went to trial and lost? That would have “so not” been a laughing matter; but I bet my headlines and the story made you laugh for a minute.
Okay people, get serious on getting permission before you use other people’s work. Even if the person(s) you collaborate and work with have been your best friend, spouse or high school sweetheart since you could say “mama,” still get a legal agreement in place. It is funny what happens when money is involved in anything. Human nature being what it is, relationships go south and boy do folks come out swinging both literally and in court. On the converse, if you are reading this and you are an owner of intellectual property or acquire intellectual property you want executed, don’t be cheap! Don’t look to make money off other people’s work and not compensate them for what they truly deserve. If you are a start-up with no money, be clear about your relationship and still have the proper legal agreements in place, even if you can only pay your employees $1.00 a day or no money at all.
Be prudent. Seek the advice of a competent attorney. You save time, money and a massive headache in the nearest future because you can avoid, to the best of your ability, legal battles.
Wayan Brothers Settle With Ex-Assistant Over ‘Gold Digger’ Book Lawsuit
(CNS) Posted Wednesday July 13, 2011 – 1:55pm
A settlement was reached in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a former assistant to the Wayans brothers against the joke-telling family over a humor book about women who prey upon wealthy men, court papers show.
Jared Edwards claimed in the lawsuit he filed in federal court in Los Angeles in 2009 that during the 10 years he worked as a personal assistant to Keenen, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, he came up with the idea for a joke book about women on the prowl for “sugar daddies.”
The 112-page paperback 101 Ways to Know You’re a Gold Digger, part of the Wayans’ 101 Ways to Know… series, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2009.
No details were immediately available on the settlement, reached Monday on the eve of trial, according to the court filing. . .”
Beverly Hills Courier has full story.