Cheaters Never Win…Or Do They?

What do Helen Keller, Vanilla Ice, and Disney all have in common? 

They’ve all been caught up in ugly plagiarism or copyright fights. 

In honor of Public Domain Day (Jan 1) and as a result of our very first listener request, Candy and Ashley discuss some of the most notorious cases of plagiarism and copyright infringement across the entertainment industry. Hear about the accusations brought against Helen Keller by the staff of the Perkins School for the Blind, the lengthy lawsuit filed against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams by the family of Marvin Gaye, and the aggressive fight Disney is currently waging to save its hold on certain Marvel characters and also the rights to the original Mickey Mouse. What happens if Disney loses? The world may see a whole new Marvel and Mickey!

Show Notes for Episode 16!


“The ‘Frost King’ Incident,” Perkins School for the Blind, by Jen Hale and Susanna Coit

“Nine Most Notorious Copyright Cases in Music History,” BBC, by Eddie Mullan, June 5, 2019

“Copyright vs. Plagiarism,” Auburn University

“Disney Fights for Rights to Popular Marvel Characters,” Forbes, contributing author Bryan Sullivan, October 1, 2021

“Lavigne’s ‘Girlfriend” A Rip-Off? You Decide,” NPR, by Madeleine Brand, July 10, 2007

“Disney Has An Avengers-Sized Legal Problem (Maybe Bigger Than It Realizes),” Hollywood Reporter, by Eriq Gardner, September 27, 2021

“Mickey Mouse Will Be in Public Domain Soon–Here’s What That Means,” Ars Technica, by Timothy B. Lee, January 1, 2019

“The Fight to Continue Mickey Mouse’s Copyright, The Courtroom, by Meganne Tillay, June 17, 2021

“Cher Claims ‘I Got You Babe,’ Sues Mary Bono for Share of Royalties, Forbes, contributing author Bryan Sullivan, October 15, 2021

“MSCHF’s Next Project Won’t Wait for Mickey Mouse to Enter the Public Domain,” The Verge, by Richard Lawler, August 23, 2021

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