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Friday Factoid: Who’s on First? Claim Misses First Base

A play now on Broadway (Hand of God) includes a scene in which a sock puppet performs an excerpt from the comedy routine Who’s on First? The routine was made popular in the 1940s by comedians Bud Abbott & Lou Costello. The heirs of Abbott & Costello filed a lawsuit claiming the play infringes upon copyrights in two movies that feature Abbott & Costello performing the routine. In granting a motion to dismiss, the court held that, even if Abbott & Costello’s heirs hold valid copyrights in the film versions of the routine (which claim is subject to dispute), the sock puppet version of the routine is permitted under the Fair Use doctrine of the Copyright Act. Source: Tech Dirt Jon Wachs websiteIf you have any questions regarding the content of this communication, please contact Jonathan R. Wachs: jwachs@offitkurman.com | 301.575.0302. If you would like to subscribe to receive Friday Factoids® in your inbox click here.