A US man is suing 20th Century Fox, the producer of Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 spoof, Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and Christian singer Timothy Spell, claiming Spell performs a song of his in the movie without permission.
Frank O’Brien claims Spell falsely represented that he controlled copyright and received US$25,000 for the use of the song, Nothin’ Like Being Able, adding that he would never have allowed its use because the movie lampooned his Christian beliefs.
To prove breach of copyright, O’Brien must demonstrate that he either composed the song and retained copyright, or that he legally acquired copyright from someone else.
Just last month, another man failed in his attempt to sue over unauthorized use of his image in the trailer for the movie and in a 13-second clip in which he shouts “go away” and runs as Borat tries to hug him in a New York street. The judge ruled that under US law the clip was “newsworthy” and not illegal. Two students and a driving instructor from the US and a group of Romanian villagers have filed similar suits.