3 Count: Funeral Crashers

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: CW 11 Files Copyright Claim

First off today, the flash mob comedy site Improve Everywhere had a rather sad tale to tell regarding its April Fool’s joke. On April 1st, the site posted a fake YouTube clip where it pretended to crash a funeral. This not only fooled thousands of YouTube users, but also the news crew at CW 11, who reported the funeral as if it had actually happened.

Finding this amusing, Improv Everywhere posted a clip to YouTube of the coverage. However, the Tribune, the parent company of CW 11, didn’t find the humor in it and ordered the video to be taken down as a copyright infringement, even though one may make a fair use argument about the nature of the clip.

Improv Everywhere has other copies of the coverage available on their site and for download for, as they put it, “safekeeping”.

2: Will Leak Help Wolverine?

Next up, experts are predicting that, despite the leak of an early version of the film, the piracy of the new Wolverine movie may actually help its box office performance. Studies are showing that the movie still scores high among key audiences in the level of anticipation and it is still predicted to do very well for itself.

We’ll have to wait for the actual release of the movie on May 1st t see how it actually does.

3: An Interesting Tax Evasion Strategy

Finally today, even though it is an old press release, I wanted to give everyone who survived tax day a bit of a copyright-related laugh.

Back in 2006, a Lynn N. Ealy tried an unusual tax strategy. Ealy was sentenced to 27 months in prison with 2 years supervised release for tax evasion for unpaid taxes on a carpentry business. Ealy tried several strategies including claiming the taxes were unconstitutional, that he was not a citizen of the U.S. and, finally, claiming that his name was protected by copyright and that she would bill the IRS $500,000 every time they used it.

Needless to say the courts did no buy these arguments and sentenced Ealy to 27 months in prison with 2 years supervised release afterward. Nice try though.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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