Big Bang In Belarus - Macleans.ca
 

Big Bang In Belarus


 

Chuck Lorre last night used his “vanity card” (something he invented for Dharma & Greg and whose hectoring, half-earnest half-snarky tone seems to be the inspiration for many TV-writer blogs) to call attention to a ripoff of The Big Bang Theory that is running in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, with the same characters and scripts, but no money paid to the copyright owners.

Though Warner Brothers would presumably prefer to sell some official international remakes of the show in the future, its legal department advised Lorre that he can’t shut down this unauthorized version: “we were told that it’s next to impossible to sue for copyright infringement in Belarus because the TV production company that is ripping us off is owned and operated by the government of Belarus.” Now, I take that with a grain of salt — it sounds like it’s playing to stereotypes of Eastern European countries as lawless wastelands — but if true, then this is what Belarus’s tax dollars are paying for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZKA2zllAEo

One useful thing: if you want to know the difference between audience laughter and “canned” laughter, listen to this. The acoustic is almost totally dead and silent until the fake laughter kicks in, obviously in a different sound-world from the rest of the show.

[vodpod id=Video.3022765&w=560&h=340&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

And a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this show. I’m not sure if they do or don’t mention that the show is based on a U.S. show (I would assume that many viewers know it is, and the point is simply to remake it without paying any money, but who knows).


 
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Big Bang In Belarus

  1. I have no idea what you are writing about

    • I thought you were omniscient.

      • The constant prayers from possibly pregnant teens and baseball players makes it hard for him to focus.

  2. Belarus is a member of the Berne convention, however. Does it have an independent judiciary?

  3. Of all the shows to copy they picked Big Bang Theory?!? Alright I guess. Maybe they just had that one actor lined up and figured out who he looked like.

  4. Ok, seriously, maybe I'm tone deaf, but until they actually sing, that pop ditty is not so bad. The singing makes my ears bleed, though…

  5. Well, if you're a sitcom writer, the obvious answer is to write an episode where somehow Belarus, or the thought of one or more of the main characters ending up in Belarus, or developing some device that has a patent or theory that ends up being ignored or stolen by Belarus, that is the main plotline of that episode. Then see if they remake that one without paying royalties.

  6. Belarus is often referred to as the last dictatorship in Europe, and its largest television station (and most of its industry) is under state control, so it's not too far-fetched to say that the ripoff can't be stopped for that reason.