Today in Celebrity-on-Celebrity Lawsuits

Evel Knievel is a man of advanced years, and MTV doesn’t really show music videos anymore, so the famed daredevil and his lawyers can be forgiven for only just noticing Kanye West’s "Touch the Sky" video, released at the beginning of this year, in which the rapper plays a character called "Evel Kanyevel," dresses in a familiar jumpsuit, and attempts to vault over a canyon in a rocket-powered vehicle. Knievel is not amused and has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against West. According to papers obtained by The Smoking Gun, the suit argues that the list of similarities mentioned above "creates a likelihood of confusion" between the video and real Knievel footage. Actually, I think the only issue here is whether homage and parody, as intermingled in this video, constitute fair use, since it’s hard to imagine that anyone could confuse West with Knievel. Not just because of the obvious racial difference, but also because one of these guys is a man known for self-aggrandizing, brazen, reckless publicity stunts, while the other is… uh, never mind.

In a similar boat is Mariah Carey, who’s trying to prevent porn star Mary Carey (real name: Mary Cook) from trademarking her similar-sounding stage name. Again, it’s hard to see how people could be confused, since one of these women is a laughably bad actress and the other is… OK, well, one of them is a full-figured gal who likes to wear skimpy outfits, while the other, uh…

All right, there really are some major differences between Mariah and Mary Carey; after the jump, you can read PopWatch’s guide to telling the two of them apart.

Is she an internationally renowned singing star?
Mary: No
Mariah: Yes

Has she acted in a "girl" film?
Mariah: Yes – Wisegirls
Mary: Yes – Boobsville Sorority Girls, Girls School 4, Fiesta Island Party Girls, and others

Has she run for governor of California?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: No

Was she invited twice to have dinner with President Bush after donating thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: No

Did she express a desire to have a threesome with the Bush twins?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: No

Are ecstatic, high-pitched squeals part of her professional repertoire?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: Yes


Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • mike

    Speaking of celebrity lawsuits, didn’t a judge throw out at least one of the lawsuits against Barat? There isn’t a hit movie, song, book or TV show in the last ten years that someone hasn’t sued over.
    Mariah: Melted down on TRL
    Mary: Will have an Orgy with the ten people who still watch MTV

  • james

    I LOVE Mariah Carey, but I think she should let this whole lawsuit thing go. She should just let Mary Carey sink into her own obscurity.

  • Ep Sato

    The difference with Mary and Mariah is that one sleeps with people for money and record deals, the other one is a porn star.
    As for Evil Knievel, he and Kanye are a match made in heaven. My money is bet on the conspiracy that Kanye called up Evil and said “dude, want to sue me so we can both get free publicity when we’ve been out of people’s mouths for too long?”. Evil was like “sure”.
    So Kanye used the footage, knowing Evil’d never win the lawsuit, but also knowing that Mr. Kneivel’d never ignore the chance for some airtime on “best week ever”.

  • Jason

    The issue is that Mary Carey is now wanting to record music and will be next to Mariah on record shelves. “Carey” is NOT Mary’s real last name, and it’s obvious Mary changed her name to benefit from Mariah’s success. When she was a porn star it wasn’t a big deal because Mariah isn’t in that industry. Now Mary is trying to become a music star, though, and part of the regulation of trademarks centers on “likeness.”

  • aramis

    Jason thanks for point that out…it’s funny how people quickly forget what’s at stake in an effort to parlay a few jokes…
    That case is about “likeness” and the only reason it’s an issue now, is because Mary Carey wants to record music. It was fine when the two were in different industries, but now one wants to break into the other and Mary Carey’s records would be placed on the store shelves right behind Mariah Carey’s records and – for those stupid people, which you KNOW there is a lot of in this country – confusion would ensue. We’d to think people would be smart enough to know the difference, but let’s face it, the general public doesn’t have a good history of showing some intelligence when it allows people like J-ho and Britney to throw away marriages like tampons and not let Gay people get married – I’m just sayin!).

  • Derek

    The real loser in the whole situation is Mary Cherry, who still deserves to have her own show years after the cancellation of Popular!! Her stance on the California laws of freedom to name all males by Joe is sorely missed! I know she would do anything to be in the film industry!! We miss you Mary Cherry!!

  • sneakypete

    I naturally assume that they will both be sued by the estate of Harry Caray….

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