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Monday, 9 August 2004


The BBC reports that comedian Jimmy Carr is claiming that follow comic Jim Davidson “stole” a joke of his that he told during the 2002 Royal Variety Performance and is threatening legal action. The joke, which Davidson told during his ‘Jim Davidson on the Road’ programme goes as follows:

"Someone came up to me last week and complained about a joke, quite a big-boned girl.
She said: "I think you're fattist." I said: "No, I think you're fattest".
Davidson’s manager is downplaying the claim, saying that the similarity of the two jokes was coincidental and in any event, the joke has “been around for ages” and was only one line in a fifty minute routine.

The IPKat thinks the copyright implications of joke theft are quite intriguing. Is a one-liner to be considered to be a protectable work in itself or will it be seen as part of a routine? In the latter case it would have to be found as a substantial part of the original user’s routine to be considered infringing.
More stolen jokes here, here and here (no, it's not him...I don't think)

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