Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Steal This Joke

How to protect against joke theft is an up and coming area of IP law, or would be if IP lawyers could figure out how to protect jokes from being stolen. The NYT's Dave Itzkoff writes here about Craig Ferguson's recent encounter with a French admirer and other recent instances in which the Internet has made the discovery of imitation (or admiration) somewhat easier than it would have been otherwise. For more on comedy and developing norms in the area, see the short bibliography below.

Andrew Greengrass, Take My Joke...Please--Foxworthy v. Custom Tees and the Prospects for Ownership of Comedy; 21 Colum.-VLA Journal of Law & the Arts 273 (1996/1997).

Allen D. Madison, The Uncopyrightability of Jokes, 35 San Diego Law Review 111 (1998).

Michael J. Madison, Of Coase and Comics, Or, The Comedy of Copyright, 95 Virginia Law Review In Brief 27 (2009). 

Dotan Oliar and Christopher John Sprigman, From Corn to Norms: How IP Entitlements Affect What Stand-Up Comedians Create, The John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics Working Paper, 2009 No. 60

Dotan Oliar and Christopher John Sprigman, Intellectual Property Norms in Stand-Up Comedy, in The Making and Unmaking of Intellectual Property (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Dotan Oliar and Christopher John Sprigman, There's No Free Laugh Anymore: The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy, 94 Virginia Law Review (2008).

K. J. Strandburg, Who's In the Club?: A Response to Oliar and Springman, Virginia Law Review In Brief 2009 

Jennifer E. Rothman, Custom, Comedy and the Value of Dissent, 95 Virginia Law Review In Brief 19 (2009).

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