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Today in Celebrity-on-Celebrity Lawsuits

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Evel Knievel is a man of advanced years, and MTV doesn’t really show music videos anymore, so the famed daredevil and his lawyers can be forgiven for only just noticing Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky” video, released at the beginning of this year, in which the rapper plays a character called “Evel Kanyevel,” dresses in a familiar jumpsuit, and attempts to vault over a canyon in a rocket-powered vehicle. Knievel is not amused and has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against West. According to papers obtained by The Smoking Gun, the suit argues that the list of similarities mentioned above “creates a likelihood of confusion” between the video and real Knievel footage. Actually, I think the only issue here is whether homage and parody, as intermingled in this video, constitute fair use, since it’s hard to imagine that anyone could confuse West with Knievel. Not just because of the obvious racial difference, but also because one of these guys is a man known for self-aggrandizing, brazen, reckless publicity stunts, while the other is… uh, never mind.

In a similar boat is Mariah Carey, who’s trying to prevent porn star Mary Carey (real name: Mary Cook) from trademarking her similar-sounding stage name. Again, it’s hard to see how people could be confused, since one of these women is a laughably bad actress and the other is… OK, well, one of them is a full-figured gal who likes to wear skimpy outfits, while the other, uh…

All right, there really are some major differences between Mariah and Mary Carey; after the jump, you can read PopWatch’s guide to telling the two of them apart.

Is she an internationally renowned singing star?
Mary: No
Mariah: Yes

Has she acted in a “girl” film?
Mariah: Yes – Wisegirls
Mary: Yes – Boobsville Sorority Girls, Girls School 4, Fiesta Island Party Girls, and others

Has she run for governor of California?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: No

Was she invited twice to have dinner with President Bush after donating thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: No

Did she express a desire to have a threesome with the Bush twins?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: No

Are ecstatic, high-pitched squeals part of her professional repertoire?
Mary: Yes
Mariah: Yes