"Letter B" lawsuit

YellowYahooey

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I read on Muppet Wiki that the Sesame Street song "Letter B" by The Beetles, was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the owners of the catalogue of Beatles songs, and sued for $5.5 million, citing that the song sounds almost like "Let It Be". The case was dropped after Michael Jackson purchased the catalogue, and CTW was fined a mere fifty dollars which came out of the pocket of writer Christopher Cerf.

Despite the legal troubles, Paul McCartney - who performed, and may have originally wrote "Let It Be" - actually liked "Letter B" a lot. I don't know how he got access to view "Letter B" across the Atlantic.

But my question is, did Sesame Street drop "Letter B" from the show because of the lawsuit, and if so, when was the lawsuit filed and when was "Letter B" last shown? I do know it was shown on Episode 1845 - the second Friday episode of Season 15, as per Muppet Wiki. It is known it was last shown as early as Season 15.

Oddly enough, "Letter B" was featured in the "Count It Higher" VHS release back in the 1990s.
 

minor muppetz

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If you click on the images at Muppet Wiki and "what links here", you can see all a listing of all episodes containing the segment, in order. If it appears in an episode after season 23, you can find the last episode of the domestic Sesame Street that it appears in (and if it's last appearance is in seasons 20-23, it's likely the last appearance, there's only a handful from those seasons where the wiki was unable to provide complete info).

So looking at what links here for the segment https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/File:Thebeetles.jpg the segments last appearance was in season 28, episode 3451.
 

D'Snowth

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I mean, it was clearly spoofing/parody . . . did they not comprehend that?
 

minor muppetz

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Was there a time when people could sue over parody? Seems like people used to sue and now parody is protected by law.

I've read that either the owners of the Beatles music or their lawyers sent Dr. Demento cease and detist letters over playing a few Beatles parodies, including Weird Al Yankovic's "Pac-Man".

I wonder when the lawsuit occurred. Must have been around the time Born to Add was reissued, as they took out Letter B as well as Hey Food, but then those songs got to be included on the album Sesame Road (with an Abby Road cover spoof).
 

MuppetSpot

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Was there a time when people could sue over parody? Seems like people used to sue and now parody is protected by law.

I've read that either the owners of the Beatles music or their lawyers sent Dr. Demento cease and detist letters over playing a few Beatles parodies, including Weird Al Yankovic's "Pac-Man".

I wonder when the lawsuit occurred. Must have been around the time Born to Add was reissued, as they took out Letter B as well as Hey Food, but then those songs got to be included on the album Sesame Road (with an Abby Road cover spoof).
We need to remember that Micheal Jackson bough the Beetles catalogue. So, his estate has more control over that now.
 

D'Snowth

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Was there a time when people could sue over parody?
Actually, yeah, there was, I forgot. Durward Kirby threatened to sue Jay Ward for defamation when Rocky and Bullwinkle did a story arc about a magical hat called the Kerward Derby.
 

minor muppetz

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Actually, yeah, there was, I forgot. Durward Kirby threatened to sue Jay Ward for defamation when Rocky and Bullwinkle did a story arc about a magical hat called the Kerward Derby.
That was an old lawsuit I was actually thinking about. Additionally, Jay Ward had plans to produce a Bullwinkle special spoofing the Super Bowl, but when somebody decided to ask permission from the NFL (I thought only Weird Al Yankovic had the decency to ask for permission to do parodies), they were informed that whoever sponsored the special would be sued, so the special was dropped.
 
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