January 16, 2005

Copyright Infringement Suit [11:54 am]

According to a news piece in the local paper, this book - Yiddish with Dick and Jane - is the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit. The NYTimes has the AP Story: Dick and Jane Publisher Reportedly Sues [pdf]

See Dick and Jane. See Dick and Jane get a lawyer. Pearson Education, the publishing company that owns the copyright to the single-named stars of countless reading primers, is suing a division of Time Warner for co-opting the characters in a book called “Yiddish With Dick and Jane,” according to The New York Times.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims the book violates Pearson’s copyright. The book, which has sold more than 100,000 copies since it was published in September by Little, Brown & Company, is billed as a parody.

Not so, the lawsuit says. “Yiddish With Dick and Jane” “is not a parody, but is an unprotected imitation,” the suit alleges.

The source article from the NYTimes: Primer Spoof With Yiddish Faces Suit (in English)

The brisk-selling book examines adultery, drug use and other tsuris that afflict Dick and Jane as adults. When it was published in September by Little, Brown & Company, part of the Time Warner Book Group, Pearson was farmisht and did not take any action. After an Internet video promotion of the book began attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers and the book’s sales topped 100,000, however, Pearson decided that the fun was over.

[...] “This suit aims at the heart of creative expression,” the company [Little, Brown] said, “a position no publisher should take.”

Much later: from the Patry Copyright Blog - Parody, Political Correctness, and the First Amendment

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