A quip that circulated online following Super Bowl XLIX back in February 2015, in which the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks on a widely criticized call by Seattle coach Pete Carroll at the end of the game, has received copyright protection.
The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, esq., reports that the quip by comedy blogger Robert “Alex” Kaseberg is at the center of a lawsuit by Kaseberg against Conan O’Brien, who has been accused by Kaseberg of stealing his joke.
Here’s the line: “Tom Brady said he wants to give his MVP truck to the man who won the game for the Patriots. So enjoy that truck, Pete Carroll.”
“According to a recently released decision from the U.S. Copyright Office, the federal review board in July found the work to meet the minimal degree of creativity required for copyright protection following Kaseberg’s second request for reconsideration after the office had refused his application,” THR reports.
The report quotes Catherine Rowland writing in the decision: “Courts and the Copyright Office both have found copyright protection for jokes when the jokes are sufficiently creative. But the Board also cautions that, while it is copyrightable, the copyright in the Work is ‘thin.'”
Kaseberg is reportedly suing O’Brien over not only the Super Bowl joke, but also jokes involving Caitlyn Jenner and the Washington Monument.
All we can say is: “Take my wife … please!”