All Your Jokes Are Belong to Us

22 Nov

Mr. Broke Hoedown pointed me to BoingBoing earlier this week, commenting on the intellectual property agreement that we’re all agreeing to if we text jokes to the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor Comedy Club (MILFCC):

Disney’s lawyers shoehorned this lengthy, decidedly Un-Magic disclaimer into all the signage in the ride, letting you know that Mike Wyzowski, Monsters Inc and, now, your jokes are owned by Disney.

Makes you think twice about whether to text those jokes to the MILFCC, doesn’t it? Broke Hoedown Jr. just asked me if this means Disney can sue him if he becomes a stand-up comedian and uses the joke he texted them last December. And yes indeed I believe it does, technically speaking . . . though of course tracking and enforcement issues would be tricky.

2 Responses to “All Your Jokes Are Belong to Us”

  1. Tom November 22, 2007 at 10:40 pm #

    No, Disney cannot sue you for using your own joke. You are giving them the rights to use your property without any payment. You are not giving them any type of exclusive ownership.

  2. Kitty-chan November 23, 2007 at 8:51 am #

    Tom, thanks for the clarification . . . on careful re-reading I realize you’re right that you’re in fact simply giving Disney the right to re-distribute your joke.

    I also notice though that in texting your joke to MILFFCC, you’re assumed to own all the rights to whatever joke you’re texting. And while I wouldn’t expect Disney to enforce that capriciously, it’s amusing to notice that if my kid texts in some joke he heard on SpongeBob, he’s technically in violation of that agreement.

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