Creative Vigilantes: Magicians, Chefs, And Stand-up Comics Protect Their Creations Without The Law

by Daniel B. Smith

Daniel B. Smith

Journalist and author of Muses, Madmen and Prophets: Hearing Voices and the Borders of Insanity, New York, NY, USA

Last February, Joe Rogan, the beefy host of the gross-out extravaganza “Fear Factor,” got on the stage at the Los Angeles club The Comedy Store and unleashed a tirade against the comedian Carlos Mencia, who sat beside him on a stool, angrily protesting. According to Rogan, Mencia had been stealing other comedians’ material for years, and the only way to stop him was by making his habits widely known. This Rogan did his best to achieve; shortly thereafter, he posted a video of the exchange—liberally peppered with indecencies and spliced with supporting material—on his Web site. From there it spread quickly over the Internet.

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