3 Reasons The South Park Copyright Infringement Claim is Ludicris
Via: The A.V. Club
Yup, that venerable organ of parody and disrespect, South Park, has gone too far! They’ve been sued for copyright infringement [TMZ, apologies, apologies] for the episode “Imaginationland”. There is, however, a distinct whif of BS about the whole thing. Here’s X reasons why.
The Character That’s “Infringing”
Yup, the character that’s infringing, is, uh, the Lollipop King. And how is he “infringing”, well apparently he looks the same as the character in the video below called the Lollipop Forrest [sic] and the fact that in South Park he’s being throttled by a Stormtrooper makes him guilty
The Nature of the “Infringement”
Hmm, where to start. Infringement in copyright terms is a complex beast. There are tests to determine whether something is actually infringing. In this case, I find it hard to believe that the Lollipop King is guilty of that. For starters he’s multi-coloured and wears a crown. The characters in the video are mono-colored and don’t wear crowns. Moving on, South Park is animated, the Lollipop Forrest [sic] is live-action. That rises the bar in terms of proving infringement but even then, the character isn’t the same for chrissakes!
The Time Factor
Ah yes, perhaps the greatest thing that this lawsuit is done is revealing that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have access to a time machine. No, I’m deadly serious about this. Imaginationland was broadcast in 2007 but the Lollipop Forrest [sic] appears to be from 2011 (presuming that creator Xavier Wardlaw uploaded it shortly after creating it). Being the engineer that I am, I’m fairly confident that Parker and Stone (if they did infringe) saw that last year and then travelled back to 2007 so they could rip it off a whole 4 years before the fact.
Personally, I’m decidedly curious to see what the court says about this and whether a precedent is created whereby you can recursively infringe on something by going back in time and creating it first.
This is one of those “there has to be a moral” stories and it is. I don’t begrudge Xavier Wardlaw for creating what he did, every creative thing deserves props for being made. However, there’s something about American that seams to whisper in everybody’s ear “sue, sue, sue” every time they feel even a tad slighted. C’mon folks, common sense can do wonders, and in this case, can save you some money too.
And now for the funniest part, watch the start of this making of video and see if you can spot the (even more blatant) copyright infringement going on. Bonus points for the characters names!