Episode 904: Joke Theft : Planet Money We follow the founder of f*ckjerry and comedian Jim Mendrinos into the world of comedy. Where a whole series of informal sanctions are deployed to protect jokes from theft.
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Episode 904: Joke Theft

A screenshot of Jen Lewis' original famous image: Kanye kissing Kanye. Jen Lewis/https://twitter.com/thisjenlewis hide caption

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Jen Lewis/https://twitter.com/thisjenlewis

A screenshot of Jen Lewis' original famous image: Kanye kissing Kanye.

Jen Lewis/https://twitter.com/thisjenlewis

In 2015, Jen Lewis posted a photoshopped image to Twitter that would go insanely viral. In it, Kanye West is kissing a mirrored image of himself. The image is so popular it even ends up spray painted on a wall in Australia. Kanye, maybe inspired by the photo, writes a song about how much he loves himself.

But the thing is... Jen's original tweet didn't get much. What made it famous was that the Instagram account, f*ckjerry, reposted it. Without crediting her.

Passing off content without credit is the newest form of a problem that has long troubled the comedy community: Joke theft.

Today on the show, we trace the history of protecting jokes. Comedians and meme creators aren't relying on copyright law; they've created a whole informal system of sanctions to protect their material from thieves.

Music: "Slapped Cheeks," and "I Love Kanye," and "Playin' Games."

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