Turns out the guys behind the YouTube smash "What What (In the Butt)"
-- the music video featuring a flaming dude named Samwell crooning "You want to do it in my butt?" -- have no sense of humor when it comes to parody of their "art."
Last week, the video's creator, Brownmark Films, which is also (harumph!) its registered copyright holder, filed suit against South Park Digital Studios LLC, MTV Networks, Viacom International, Paramount Pictures and Comedy Partners over a parody of the video that appeared in an April 2008 episode of South Park
That episode featured South Park
's Butters singing "What What (In the Butt)." And, apparently, Brownmark Films was neither consulted nor compensated for Butters' rendition -- leading to a lawsuit in Wisconsin's Eastern District Court alleging six counts of copyright infringement.
"The music video Butters and his friends create is a nearly frame-by-frame recreation of the heart of the audovisual work 'What What (In the Butt)' created and copyrighted by Brownmark," the lawsuit alleges.
And that just ain't funny! As the lawsuit continues, airing the episode in question "will continue to cause Brownmark great and irreparable injury that cannot be fully compensate or measured in money." And so, of course, the only way South Park
can ever, ever remedy the pain is to, um, pay up: statutory damages, a portion of the profits, costs and attorney's fees.
May we remind you, gentle reader, that we're talking about a video called "What What (In the Butt)?" And a dude asking "Do you want to do it in my butt" on the Internet? And, for that matter, South Park
How did things ever get so serious?
As we've previously reported, "What What (In the Butt)" was at least partly the creation of St. Louis flight attendant Mike Stasny, better known as Giorgio
. We can't tell if Stasny is in any way involved with this suit; he's not listed as Brownmark's registered agent or mentioned in the lawsuit. We also can't find any current phone number for Stasny. (Mike, if you're out there, call us!) Read the lawsuit here, courtesy of eonline.com.
Readers who care about this sort of thing may recall that "What What (In the Butt) recently got the mash-up treatment by yet another YouTube producer -- this one remixing the song with a series of clips featuring Don Draper/Jon Hamm saying "What? What?"
And if Brownmark Films is willing to take on South Park
, well, surely it's only a matter of time before the anonymous Don Draper mixer gets a lawsuit of his own. Or is it somehow not
parody when hot-as-hell Jon Hamm is involved instead of nervous little Butters?
We've got a call out to Chaz McChrystal, the Milwaukee-based lawyer representing Brownmark Films, and we intend to ask just that question. So please, stay tuned ...