Sunday, November 18, 2012

Purely coincidental

So, I was there watching Louie, but for anyone hope for an insight into my thoughts on that show will be disappointed by this post.

The episode was "Oh Louie/Tickets", in this case, but this basic principle is true of the series in general, as well as several other episodes.

In this episode, Louis C.K. portrays a modestly successful comedian named "Louis C.K.". He is joined by Bob Saget as a known comic actor named "Bob Saget" and Dane Cook as a wildly successful comedian named "Dane Cook".

I'm purposely not including any information about these men that isn't provided in the episode itself.

At the end of this episode, like all of the other episodes, I am told that it is, in fact, merely a coincidence if any of these people resemble actual people living or dead.

What I want to understand is how this legal message is expected to hold up under these circumstances.

Let's say Joe Schmoe who knows Louis C.K. in some fashion, feels he's been portrayed and portrayed unfavorably on the show. If the lawyers try to use that warning as a defense against his defamation charge, then it seems like his lawyers could simply come back with the response that this warning is transparently false, couldn't they?

I'm not sure. Defamation probably isn't even what they're protecting themselves against, but whatever it actually is still seems wide open to this response.

So, what purpose then does it serve?

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