Three Stooges producer demands cease & desist from Three Stooges XXX parody

Senior Editor
04.17.12 23 Comments

2010 AVN Director of the Year Will Ryder, who also directed the 2012 XBiz Best Parody-Comedy winner Beverly Hillbillies a XXX Parody (oh come on! not Beverly Dillbillies? it was right there!), announced plans for a Three Stooges XXX parody back in January. Now, a lawyer representing one of the companies that produced the Farrelly Brothers version released over the weekend, has sent a letter to the lawyers of the XXX version, saying that the porn parody version is copyright infringement not protected as parody. Though if you ask me, even if it were true, the lack of protection only makes it sound hotter. Here’s the letter:

Dear Mr. Fattorosi,

I am in receipt of your April 3, 2012 letter. You claim on behalf of your client, Will Ryder Productions, that the low budget, clearly pornographic film your client intends to sell by infringing upon The Three Stooges® Brand is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a “parody”. Such a claim of parody has no merit.

Your client is not the first to try to use the First Amendment as an excuse to wrongfully capitalize on The Three Stooges Brand. See, eg, Comedy III Productions, Inc. v Gary Saderup [etc…]. C3 Entertainment, Inc., will not hesitate to protect its interests. Your threats to abuse Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16, et. seq., will not deter C3 Entertainment from seeking relief in the courts should it become necessary. […]

Very truly yours, Robert N. Benjamin

HOW DARE YOU INFRINGE ON THE COPYRIGHT OF THREE GUYS* WHOSE CORPSES WE’VE BEEN RAPING! And for pornography?! Disgusting! Sex is supposed to be something that happens behind closed doors, metaphorically, between lawyers and dead comedians!

Fattorosi responded, predictably:

But Michael Fattorosi,  the XXX lawyer fired his own letter back — which we also got — claiming the only way Benjamin could stop him is with a proper trademark, and Fattorosi says the only Three Stooges trademark Benjamin owns is for Three Stooges bottled beer.
But even more basic — Fattorosi lectures Benjamin on the fact that a parody is protected as free speech. [TMZ]

If, by some extremely unlikely circumstance, Benjamin succeeds in forever removing porn parodies from parody protection, he could go down as history’s greatest cockblock. Though I am a bit torn on this one. While I am and always have been a free speech purist, I’m pretty sure that’s Evan Stone playing Larry in the banner pic, and I’m not convinced that the people don’t need more protection from that cheesy greaseball’s awful face than the constitution can provide. Also, I’m pretty bummed that it’s not called “The Three Spooges.” It’s like they don’t even try anymore.

*Yes, I know that there were more than three in total, shut up.

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