Friday, March 16, 2007

Carol Burnett sues "Family Guy" for copyright infringement

Comedian Carol Burnett filed a lawsuit last Thursday against Twentieth Century Fox, distributor of the TV show "Family Guy", seeking over $6 million in damages.

Burnett is upset over the show's portrayal of her "Carol Burnett Show" character, Charwoman, in an episode entitled "Peterotica" from last April.

The character (shown above) was seen on screen for approximately four seconds.

According to Burnett, 73, she was approached by Fox in mid-2005 for permission to use the theme song from "The Carol Burnett Show" in a "Family Guy" episode. She declined the request.
Burnett claims that after she refused to license her music, Fox caused a "Family Guy" episode to "be rewritten to disparage Ms. Burnett using Ms. Burnett's signature ear tug."

Can she possibly win this case? Shows like "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons" thrive and spoofing pop culture characters. This has got to be fair use. If she wins, then just about every other celebrity on the planet is entitled to $6 million.

Link (with video clip)

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