Cease & Desist this! Bill Cosby still has no sense of humor.
March 6, 2006 3:49 PM   Subscribe

waxy.org vows to fight Bill Cosby's lawyers and continue to provide hosting to House of Cosbys despite receiving a cease & desist letter [PDF]. Andy Baio, founder of waxy.org, discusses this in the NY Times and provides updates on his site. As previously posted, Bill Cosby's lawyers were successful in getting the creators of House of Cosbys to stop hosting and making new episodes of their parody series.

It appears that threatening letters and lawsuits will continue to be filed against internet parody sites as celebrities try to protect what they view as their copyright, according to the Wall Street Journal.
posted by Mijo Bijo (33 comments total)

 
wow. here's to our own waxpancake. Should we consider doing a collection drive to support him in this?
posted by shmegegge at 3:55 PM on March 6, 2006


"A parody is a work that ridicules another, usually well-known work, by imitating it in a comic way. Judges understand that by its nature, parody demands some taking from the original work being parodied. Unlike other forms of fair use, a fairly extensive use of the original work is permitted in a parody in order to "conjure up" the original."
-Stanford Guide to Copyright and Fair Use
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:04 PM on March 6, 2006


Ok, let's push for these to get hosted on EbaumsWorld. That way we can get all the lawyers pushing that sight into oblivion instead of a useful site like Waxy.
posted by mystyk at 4:30 PM on March 6, 2006


Good for Andy. I hate to see companies/lawyers trying to bully smaller creators. It's just too bad that House of Cosby's is not funny and not worth protecting out of anything more than principle.
posted by willnot at 4:39 PM on March 6, 2006


Cool that the NYT piece came out. For what it's worth, I introduced Andy to some pro-bono law help that is interested in taking his case so between that and the EFF, I think Andy will have enough legal muscle in his corner to hopefully beat this.
posted by mathowie at 4:43 PM on March 6, 2006


If I were Waxy, I'd settle for a lifetime supply of Jello Puddin' Pops.... mmmm, puddin'
posted by keswick at 4:48 PM on March 6, 2006


"Tell Bill to have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up."

--Eddie Murphy
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:52 PM on March 6, 2006


Respect for Chuck Norris: *slide-whistle pull out*

Respect for Bill Cosby: *slide whistle push in*
posted by dgaicun at 4:55 PM on March 6, 2006


Hard to argue that the "House of Cosbys" isn't a parody. Unlike JibJab's "This Land Is Your Land" spoof, the target of the parody would appear to be Bill Cosby himself. (fingers crossed waxy is sued in New York, seems like the 2nd Circuit is pretty liberal with fair use.)

But making tracks from Cosby's comedy album available for downloading would seem to be a straightforward example of copyright infringment, no?
posted by herc at 5:03 PM on March 6, 2006


willnot nailed it.
posted by my sock puppet account at 5:16 PM on March 6, 2006


"Tell Bill to have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up."

--Eddie Murphy


crash, you left out the rather important nuance that it's eddie murphy quoting richard pryor in that bit, to whom he's gone for counsel on what to do about his "cosby problem."
posted by Hat Maui at 5:37 PM on March 6, 2006


How did I miss these in the first place? I love me some vintage Cos, (Buck Buck number one!) but he really is a whiny old windbag now, isn't he?
posted by Biblio at 5:43 PM on March 6, 2006


mmmm....calcumubations!
posted by furtive at 6:06 PM on March 6, 2006


But making tracks from Cosby's comedy album available for downloading would seem to be a straightforward example of copyright infringment, no?

Were these on waxy and I just missed it?
posted by aburd at 6:06 PM on March 6, 2006


dgalcun: You've got your whistle backward.

Celebrities fortunate enough to get skewered this way need to get better advice. While the beginnings of House of Cosbys is somewhat amusing (with the potty humor and all) it degenerates pretty rapidly from there. Were the Cosby people really interested in making it go away, they'd have done much better to let it fade on its own.

Because of their efforts, I and many others have just downloaded and watched every episode. Curious! Explore!
posted by aladfar at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2006


According to the cease-and-desist letter, It appears there were links to Cosby's copyrighted works in the past on waxy, I can't tell if they were hosted by waxy or off-site.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2006


This just in:
Nine Cosby fans killed protesting satire videos.
Sole remaining fan vows fatwa.
posted by mischief at 6:12 PM on March 6, 2006


He had some out-of-print cosby album (Cosby Talks to Kids about Drugs) hosted, but he took that down.
posted by graventy at 7:21 PM on March 6, 2006


Hey, all. Thanks for the FPP, much appreciated. Addressing a couple comments in this thread...

As I mention in the top post on my site, Cosby's lawyers asked me to remove both the out-of-print album and House of Cosbys. I immediately removed the album, as that's their business if they want to suppress an album that hasn't been commercially available since its LP release in 1971. I personally don't see the harm, but that's me.

willnot: You might not think House of Cosbys is funny, but I do. So do many of my friends, online and off. Funny is very personal.
posted by waxpancake at 7:58 PM on March 6, 2006


dgalcun: You've got your whistle backward.

Woops. I totally haven't jammed on the slistle since college.

Am I the only one who suspects the voice behind that King Missile-esque intro is really Stephen Colbert?
posted by dgaicun at 8:05 PM on March 6, 2006


It's just too bad that House of Cosbys is not funny

No, this is the first I've ever heard of it and it's great. :) Thanks, waxpancake.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:08 PM on March 6, 2006


I'm Curiosity Cosby, Theo!!
posted by bigbigdog at 8:18 PM on March 6, 2006


Good on ya, Andy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:23 PM on March 6, 2006


I'm still late night posting cosby, dammit.
posted by shmegegge at 8:28 PM on March 6, 2006


"As you are aware, you are not licensed or in anyway authorized to used Mr. Cosby's name, voice or zazzum-flazzum for any flazzum-blazzum skizzum. Your use of our client's flazzum flazoo in this blazzum violates our client's rights of zazzum-blop as well as other flith flarn flarn filth filth flarn flarn."
posted by MrBadExample at 8:48 PM on March 6, 2006


tell bill cosby to suck my dick.
posted by shmegegge at 9:31 PM on March 6, 2006


Way to go, Andy. It always bugs me when folks immediately back down in cases where the legal precedent is clearly on their side. More folks in this position should politely let the assholes know that we know the law and will start thinking about a countersuit if they continue to harass folks by asserting privileges that clearly aren't theirs to assert.

Fuck Bill Cosby and his lawyers if they continue this immoral garbage.
posted by mediareport at 10:29 PM on March 6, 2006


wait... cosby saw these cartoons and the first thing he thought of was a copyright infringement? wtf... i would have thought he would be more offended than anything. at the same time, have a self of humor, cosby.
posted by Doorstop at 5:32 AM on March 7, 2006


Well, you see Theoooo, you got to respect the law now Theoooo
posted by Suparnova at 5:38 AM on March 7, 2006


Note that the request to take down House of Cosbys is not based in copyright law, but in The Cos's right of publicity.
posted by andrewraff at 6:01 AM on March 7, 2006


Right of publicity....sheeeeit. We’d never see another parody again. What an ass Cosby is.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:19 AM on March 7, 2006


I wonder if God is planning a C&D on the Cos for parodying Noah as he's done.
posted by Spatch at 7:36 AM on March 7, 2006


MrBadExample wins. That comment has been stuck in my head and making me chuckle for days.
posted by aparrish at 9:54 AM on March 9, 2006


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