Lee Hurst, a British standup comedian, decided that a guy in the audience who was texting on his mobile phone was, in fact, recording his jokes so they could be "stolen" and "sold to TV." So he took the phone away and smashed it. During the trial, he railed against YouTube and other places where "stolen" jokes end up.
The comedian claimed in court that there was a growing problem with writers recording rival comics' material so that they could pirate their jokes and sell them to television shows. He claimed that footage of his gigs ended up on websites such as YouTube.
“TV programmes have writers writing for the performers and they go around to gigs and take the material and sell it to the BBC and ITV and that material is gone," said Hurst, who defended himself.
“You are then accused of stealing your own material. It has happened to me with material shown on national TV that I had already done.
TV comic Lee Hurst in court tirade against the joke pirates
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