November 30, 2006

Joke Book Suit [6:52 am]

Copyright in jokes? Leno fails to see the humor in joke books - pdf

Leno and NBC Studios filed a federal court lawsuit Wednesday to stop comedy teacher Judy Brown from publishing his punch lines in her books, which are largely compilations of jokes uttered by Leno and other comedians, including Ellen DeGeneres, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Lucille Ball and Tim Allen.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, said that Brown and her publishers have turned out nearly two dozen such joke books.

“Brown is no ‘author,’ ” the lawsuit chides. “She is simply packaging the original copyrighted work of [the plaintiffs], drawing and profiting from a well of creativity that is not her own.”

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