(New York, NY) Tonight, in a very special law suit, Nick Russo, the floppy-haired, lovable dad from the 90’s t.v. series Blossom, alleges that Andy Azula- the guy who draws those mesmerizing pictures on a whiteboard in UPS commercials- totally ripped off his signature hairstyle without properly seeking a transfer of copyright ownership under §204 of the U.S. Copyright Act. In his complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, Russo also alleges that Azula, through appearing in those sweet UPS commercials in which he draws those sick pictures with a Sharpie, violated Russo’s right of publicity. Citing White v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc., 971 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1992)(where Vanna White succeeded in suing over the use of a robot dressed in an evening gown depicted next to a game board recognizable as that used on the “Wheel of Fortune) and Wendt v. Host Int’l, Inc., 125 F.3d 806 (9th Cir. 1997)(holding that there was a genuine issue of material fact concerning the degree to which two animatronic robots, one heavyset and one dressed as a mailman, looked like the actors Norm and Cliff from “Cheers”), Russo argues that Azula’s flowing, lustrous, deep amber locks immediately bring to mind, in the eyes of an ordinary viewer, the “[b]adass, 90’sish sitcom dad mullet” that Russo “[r]ocked hard, prime-time” throughout the hit series’ run on NBC. Russo’s hairstyle, his argument concludes, is thus highly delineated and precludes Azula from preparing derivative hairstyles. Russo requests the court to enjoin Azula from his current [though outdated] hairstyle and seeks $30,000 in damages.
Azula confidently flaunting his well-groomed mane in one of his sweet commercials
Azula immediately filed an answer denying Russo’s allegations and contending that, 1) Russo never registered his hairstyle with the U.S. Copyright office as a prerequisite to an infringement suit, as required by 17 U.S.C. §411(a), 2) Russo’s mulletish hairstyle is not fixed in a tangible medium of expression as required by §102(a) of the Copyright Act, and finally that 3) Azula’s hairstyle is “[j]ust far less lame-ass.” Additionally, Azula suggests that Russo “[c]oncentrate on his [expletive] musical ‘career’ and focus his energy toward figuring out why his wife left him, although [Azula] could make a few educated guesses if he wants somewhere to start.”
Reached for comment, Joey Lawrence, who ironically is now completely bald, stated, “I’m not gonna say it, man, you can just leave right now . . . no, seriously, get the [expletive] out of here . . . FINE, JESUS CHRIST . . . WHOA!”