Brownmark Sues South Park Over "What What (In the Butt)" Parody

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Brownmark Sues South Park Over "What What (In the Butt)" Parody

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Viacom and Comedy Central are being sued by Brownmark Films over South Park's parody of the viral YouTube hit, "What What (In the Butt)".

On Friday, Brownmark Films filed a copyright infringement suit in U.S. District Court against Viacom and Comedy Central, the producers of South Park, over the character Butters performing the song "What What (In the Butt)" during the 2007 episode "Canada On Strike!".

The South Park rendition of the video, which some would argue helped the original Samwell version reach the viral heights it did, is pose-for-pose, thrust-for-thrust a near-perfect animated adaptation of the internet video. Because of this, Brownmark claims that the infringement is "willful, intentional, and purposeful, in disregard of and indifferent to the rights of Brownmark." They want a permanent injunction and statutory damages.

The case will likely come down to whether the South Park video is considered a parody, and therefor protected, or infringement.

This comes after an embarrassing incident last month, when South Park was accused of lifting material from CollegeHumor with regards to several Inception jokes used in the episode "Insheeption", which the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, quickly apologized for.

If you care to see the weirdest pair of clips this side of an X-rating, you can find the original Samwell video here, and the South Park parody here.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter via IGN

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Its south park. When is anything they do not a parody? They killed Justin bieber for christ sake :P

Really? Wow. People sue over the silliest things these days. I think it'll end up being cleared under being a parody though.

You'd think that dude wanted that video to sink into history never to be mentioned again, I guess this is what you shall be known as forever, the What What In My Asshole Guy

I'm sure this is a serious claim and blah-de-blah, But unfortunately I cannot take anything called "Brownmark" seriously.

Also: People Sue to much these days -_-

the funny thing is that nobody would of known about the song unless of the south park episode :3

2007 episode? Wtf took them so long?

Btw Butters >>> Most things

As far as I can tell, this is in one hell of a grey area right now. On one hand, their version of "What what in (the butt) doesn't poke fun oft he original itself, and can be counted as non-parody. On the other hand, later in the episode, they say "Hey look, it's the what what in my asshole kid!" which MIGHT spin it as parody...

I have no clue where this will go

Stubee:
2007 episode? Wtf took them so long?

Btw Butters >>> Most things

Nobody cares about his old video anymore so now he has to try and get attention (and money) by milking it in another way?

Umm...Bit late hu?

Anyway, this won't exactly bother these guys, they set money asside each series for when people sue.

They're idiots. On Tosh.0 Samwell said he was asked by the creators of South Park for his song. If his general excitement during the show was anything to go by, I'm pretty sure he said yes.

according to Samwell, they got his permission to do the parody.

Did they not go through the proper channels?

BrownMark is clearly just trying to stir up more press now that the craze over the clip has died down. Anyway, there's no doubt the South Park episode will be deemed parody.

It`s only 3 years after the fact. Considering the average life on an internet meme, does anyone except the paintiff even care? Even then, the entire episode made parodies of a ton of memes, why would this be any different? Even shot for shot, it's clearly a parody in the context of the episode.

Sounds like someone is having money troubles. That happened in 2007. Isn't there some statute of limitations on how long you can wait to sue someone?

Who sues South Park? Some person on youtube who made a famous music video? Oh. ...... Never heard of him.

Can they do that? Is that song/video actually copyrighted, or are they just thinking, "Hey! You parodied our thing we put on YouTube! Copyright infringement!"?

isn't this covered under some sort of act where you can parody copyrighted material, i mean thats how internet reviewers can do their reviews.

Quite right too... if the vid belonged to these guys then they have every right to sue.

The industry itself got these laws put in place, now they'll just have to accept that they can no longer get away with just taking stuff the way they used to.

It's their fault, serves them right, let them stew.

Considering that South Park in the past have used Johnnie Cochran and the Chewbacca Defence, I doubt a mere Youtube video company will stand a chance in court.

Irridium:
They're idiots. On Tosh.0 Samwell said he was asked by the creators of South Park for his song. If his general excitement during the show was anything to go by, I'm pretty sure he said yes.

Wow, really? That's... really sad actually.

I've actually never heard either song, and judging by the title I don't think I want to, but from what I hear it's just him saying the exact same thing as in the real song... that doesn't sound like a parody to me.

But I mean... come on... it's South Park. And this guy is from YouTube. You know, if it weren't for South Park, no one would have heard it anyway. It's like suing your own commercial for using your likeness...

I might understand if it was a recent episode, but it's been three years. Honestly, the case should be thrown out for sheer lateness.

It frustrates me when otherwise ignored and irrelevant people who get made relevant by someone parodying or whatever their material and then turn around and sue them as if they never wanted to be known.

Its like, if I did a video song, and South Park came along and did a parody of it and suddenly people know me, why would I SUE them ?

So... basically, he's suing over a parody... which helped spread his own video... three years after it was done. No doubt, this is going to be a regular win for Brownmark.

I don't understand.

The original creator of "What What in the Butt" was asked by Trey and Matt if they could use it, where he said yes. He even said as much on his interview on Tosh.0

'The fuck is this? :/

So, it took them 4 years to get the memo on this episode? Please someone institute a statute of limitations on idiots filing copyright infringement suits.

From what I understand, Samwell (the guy who made the song) was fine with the parody, but the Youtube production company whom he did the video with may not have been asked permission. Makes sense, who ever thinks of professional production companies on Youtube? (Not being sarcastic, I really didn't know there were Youtube production companies)

Um, there is a Porno of this too. Should they sue that too?

Aside from the whole thing being unbelievably stupid, I'd like to see how it plays out, particularly if the defense is that it is a parody or fair use.

As far as damages... please tell me this stupid video isn't worth any more than a few dollars.

Fumbleumble:
Quite right too... if the vid belonged to these guys then they have every right to sue.

The industry itself got these laws put in place, now they'll just have to accept that they can no longer get away with just taking stuff the way they used to.

It's their fault, serves them right, let them stew.

Samwell (The guy who made the video) said he was contacted by South Park and gave them permission to use it in their episode.
So no, not quite right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=938pOlZncRg
There's the link, it's around 2:20ish.

Large media companies have been going on copyright witch hunts for over a decade now while shamelessly ripping off and even watermarking viral content produced by the masses. About time the masses started striking back.

I thought Samwell gave them permision....

Aren't parodies protected under some silly law that I don't know the name of? You know, the reason why Weird Al hasn't gotten into the shit storm of the century.

Copyright applies to any work the instant it is created. "Filing copyright" just means documenting where and when so that you can later help prove you have copyright. So yes, if you scribble a monkey on a napkin, you have copyright over that napkin monkey. Everything else is just proving it.

With this, if Samwell didn't own the rights to the video, then he's not authorized to give permission. Otherwise, it's like you buying my car from me, and then me telling my neighbor, "Sure! You can borrow "my" car!"

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