Borat, Intellectual Property, Weirdness

A Cut of $26.5 Million? “I Liiiike!”

Borat Above the Law Legal Blog Law Gossip Borat.JPGThis “news” broke earlier in the week. But we were distracted by more important developments. Like the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline divorce. And that whole “midterm elections” thing.
Anyway, here it is:

A Turkish Internet celebrity is so convinced he was the inspiration for Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” character, he’s traveling to London seeking an apology and a way to get paid from the film’s surprise success.

Mahir Cagri, 44, became a cyber celebrity after posting a personal Web site in 1999, featuring unintentionally amusing photos of himself playing pingpong or the accordion and sunbathing in a skimpy bathing suit. Fans were captivated by his broken English and hilarious invitation to women: “Who is want to come TURKEY I can invitate … She can stay my home.”

No lawsuit yet from Cagri, but given the financial success of Borat — it earned $26.5 million domestically in its opening weekend — one can’t be far behind. And, of course, look for other purported “Borats” to emerge from the woodwork.
In the interests of judicial economy, let’s make this a Rule 23 class action. The plaintiff class: every horny, buffoonish Near Eastern male, who speaks English with an awful accent.
Very niiiice.
Internet celebrity claims to be the real-life ‘Borat’ [Associated Press]

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