The producers of South Park, along with Comedy Central and parent company Viacom, are being sued for stealing from the viral video sensation “What What (In the Butt).” The suit alleges that in the April 2, 2008 episode “Canada on Strike,” the character of Butters “and his incorrigible cohorts” created a music video that is “a nearly frame-by-frame recreation of the heart of…’What What (In the Butt)’.” The video’s creators, Brownmark Films, are seeking an injunction from the re-broadcast or continued streaming of the South Park episode, and “maximum statutory damages.” Since it was posted in February 2007, the music video in question has been viewed over 33 million times on YouTube.
In a statement to EW, Comedy Central says that “courts have consistently recognized that parody enjoys broad protections under the First Amendment and the Copyright Act.” The network contends the “What What (In the Butt)” parody “is fully protected against any copyright infringement claims under the fair-use doctrine and the First Amendment and we plan to vigorously defend those rights.”
The suit comes just a few weeks after South Park creators and showrunners Trey Parker and Matt Stone publicly apologized for lifting dialogue from a College Humor Inception parody.
Watch the original “What What (In the Butt)” music video:
And South Park‘s parody: