The Museum of Hoaxes
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Tourist Guy 9/11 Hoax, Sep 2001
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Royalty Fees for Impersonations -- April Fool's Day, 2001
The London Sunday Telegraph reported that a new European law would grant individuals the right to own their voice and distinctive mannerisms. As a consequence, comedians and impressionists would be forced to pay royalties to those they imitated. Politicians, actors, and other public figures who are frequently imitated by satirists could therefore begin to receive substantial payments in addition to their regular income. Impressionists anticipated that the ruling would present a serious challenge to their livelihood. The ruling apparently arose from a case involving a French singer, Yves Gainsbourg, who claimed that other entertainers were profiting by imitating his idiosyncratic stage manner, "described as a cross between Tom Jones and Charles Aznavour." The ruling would extend even to "end-of-pier shows, where journeymen comedians still make careers out of impersonating Norman Wisdom, Mick Jagger and Boy George." The Finnish European Commssioner, Larip Loof, was quoted as saying that the ruling was "a logical progression" from existing laws covering intellectual property rights. The ruling was scheduled to become law on April 1, 2003.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.