Real Lawyer Reacts to The Simpsons (Itchy & Scratchy Trial)
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Real Lawyer Reacts to The Simpsons (Itchy & Scratchy Trial)

October 27, 2019


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  1. So you cannot steal an idea but you can steal the EXPRESSION. Explain that for me. Does that mean I can write about the concept of talking trains like Audrey’s Railway Series but cannot use assets specific to that that series such as locations and specific characters?

  2. I read this article sometime ago talking about how only in the past couple years did material past 1923 start to enter into the public domain again, after a change in the law retroactively added 95 years onto works. I'll link it below, but is that true? And can the law be changed again to keep works by Disney and others out of the public domain again? Because unless I misunderstood, a lot of stuff by Disney should have entered PD by now.

    https://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2019/

  3. Fun fact: Night of the Living Dead fell into the public domain because when the title was changed prior to release they failed to have the copyright logo over the title screen credit. That shows just how crucial it was.

  4. If Lionel Hutz did work on a contingency basis instead of money down, he would be a millionare and wouldn't need to be the terrible lawyer that he is. Oooh, the irony….

  5. Objection:

    If Manhattan madness was made in 1919 and the law of 1923 changed copyright to the public domain for all material before 1923 then steamboat itchy which was made in 1928 violated no copyright laws and roger Meyers had full rights to use the character of itchy for his works

  6. Objection:

    Bart's probably unauthenticated piece of evidence wasn't put forth at the evidence discovery stage, it was simply taken out of the sleeve as a common plot device.

  7. OBJECTION! You didn't explain what happens if a defendant refuses to turn over evidence which would be harmful to them, like the missing tape. What would they be guilty of? Obstruction? Who would try them, and how would they go about proving a negative (that the defendant hid/destroyed evidence)?

  8. I beg of you, please do icarly. Spencer went to law school for three days, and he uses that in many episodes. But i forgot which episode it was, sorry.

  9. Fun Fact: Steamboat Willie is actually based completely off an old movie released in 1928 called Steamboat Bill Jr. Just thought of that when the guy talked about how cartoons plagiarize things done before.

  10. How many times do I have to tell YouTube I'm not interested in this channel for it to stop recommending/autoplaying it???

  11. If any copyrighted work originated before 1923 is now in the public domain, then wouldn't the evidence that Itchy and Scratchy dates from before, rather than after, 1923 also put it into the public domain when it previously wasn't? I'm sure the company that owned it would've gone to great lengths to erase any evidence of its true age way before they were sued.

  12. Objection: You honor, Council is using suppressed evidence (edited video) against my client. You ruled the show could only last 21 minutes.

  13. There is another episode that would be very good for your show. It's in one of the three house horror specials. Homer sells his soul to the devil for a donut, and after having consumed the donut, he refused to give it up. So they have a trial.

    Also in the angel episode, there was a trial about science and religion (although I remember it was rather short).

  14. "out of copyright"

    Right, just like a certain mouse, that you claim Itchy & Scratchy are parodies of, has passed into public domain because of his age…

  15. man this is so cool, i never thought i'd be so hooked on a lawyer's youtube channel. really shows how far we've come as a community

  16. Question. If hypothetically I made something in 1922 and after 1923 my copyright became part of the public domain, would I the creator just be kicked out to the curb? Could I not renew my copyright? Or what?

  17. Is there a legal term that conveys my disappointment for using the inferior cropped 16:9 footage instead of the full frame 4:3 original?

  18. OBJECTION
    That song you sung along is far more important today than back then despite being satire…it shows how bad pc culture and Free Speech issues today.

  19. You should cover the Sanders Sides episode "Selfishness vs Selflessness". It's a law-based episode where Thomas Sanders' deceitful side (cleverly named Deceit) prosecutes against Thomas and his other sides (morality/Patton, creativity/Roman, anxiety/Virgil, and logic/Logan) for the claim that Thomas cares more about himself than his friends.

  20. Your legal analysis is always fascinating, and very accessible to us non-lawyers, and this episode is all the better for your great enthusiasm and affection for the episode itself.

  21. Itchy and Scratchy is a stand-in for Disney? A cat and a mouse violently attacking each other? That sounds more like Tom and Jerry than Disney

  22. Objection. Characters are not protected by copyright, which is overseen by the Library of Congress. They're protected by trademark, which is overseen by the Patent Office. As such, it's not even the same governmental agency or jurisdiction.

  23. I just realized that by running a channel about legal issues you're gonna get a lot of lawyer ads and huge cpm, genius.

  24. Can you do a video about how and why the Washington Redskins lost their copyright? Would be fun and interesting

  25. The most satisfying about this video for me as a fellow Simpsons fan is, to see your obvious enjoyment just watching the episode. Laughing at all the 'correct' scenes.
    On top of that it's always cool to learn more about a subject your ignorant about, as I am when it comes to law.

  26. Objection. The authentication process will have most likely beencompleted, as Comic Book Guy, being a massive collector will most likely have had the cell appraised, rated and authenticated, and a sticker will have been placed on the case detailing such.

  27. Objection the second. You claim a first amendment violation for the flag burning. However under U.S Code 8 Respect for Flag it states no disrespect shall be shown to the flag. Burning the flag can be seen as disrespect to the flag.

  28. At around the 11:47 part about civil discovery,

    If you had negative evidence proving the other side of a lawsuits claim, while you do have a duty to disclose it, how would the other side legally prove that you had such evidence? What actually compels you do disclose that information?

    I ask as someone who has a specifically movie based legal experience (that being essentially worthless). Wouldn't you have to lie, not disclose that evidence, and then have the evidence come out anyway (via a "leak") for it to negatively impact you? Is there some third party hired by the court itself to go through your holdings to discover whether or not you are disclosing everything you are legally obligated to disclose?

  29. • The gag about them reading up on copyright law up to but not including 1923 is the same as the gag about Homer checking Bart's name for words that bullies can use to rhyme with; they're both just one short of noticing an important detail.
    • But the postal-service didn't make statues, they put a photograph of the statues (and the surrounding park) on the stamp. Wouldn't the photographer have the copyright of that photo? 🤔
    • The end wasn't poking fun at the fact that the characters are derivative, they're poking fun at how the characters have changed since they first appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show .
    • 18:49 – Forsooth, they definitely know what they're doing, the writers are (or at least, historically have been) very smart people, especially when it comes to math. In fact, one of the writers for Futurama created a new mathematical proof.

  30. Could you talk about copyright law and tattoos sometime? Like how tattoos use copyrighted material but it seems to be legal. Curious

  31. Objection! James Bond has appeared in 24 films in the Eon franchise, 26 if one includes the original "Casino Royale" (1967) (by my estimation the second best bond film) and "Never say Never Again" (which was a remake of "Thunderball", but much better). Not 30 or 40 films…. yet….

  32. How is it that a party has to give the opposing party evidence that would work against them if they had it, if the 5th amendment prevents self incrimination? Does it not apply to businesses/organizations?

  33. One of their regular staffers was(is) a lawyer, I believe it's Verrone. This is how they've been able to make their courtroom stuff beautifully horrible. Groening does a good job of getting people with different backgrounds to get perspectives, least he used to.

  34. Hearsay and conjecture are KINDS of evidence. This guy sounds like the people that were trying to attack Kavanaugh, and this whistleblower with Ukraine.

  35. if the charater was created in 1919 and the rip off occured after the change of copyright law, and everything reated befor 23 was c to be considered public domain, then roger meyer didn't break any law with using itchy as a character

  36. I never saw Itchy an Scratchy as a reference to Disney, I always saw it as a more violent Tom and Jerry (not owned by Disney – yet).

  37. I read somewhere that Jackie Gleason once considered suing Hanna Barbera for The Flintstones ripping off the Honeymooners.

  38. Scenes a faire cannot be copyrighted, but the U.S. Patent office just a couple of years back issued a patent for "bread refreshing." We're talking about toast. We are not talking about a new toast-like product or a new toaster. We mean the concept of making toast. The Patent Office will give out patents for freakin anything.

  39. Objection! Around the four and a half minute mark, we are told that copyright status exists automatically without needing to apply for the documentation. That is how U.S. copyright law works today. It is NOT how the law worked ninety years ago when that film was published. To have copyright protection, he absolutely would have needed to file for it.

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