'Dick and Jane' sued

NEW YORK (AP) -- See Dick and Jane. See Dick and Jane get a lawyer.
Pearson Education, the publishing company that owns the copyright to the single-named stars of countless reading primers, is suing a division of Time Warner for co-opting the characters in a book called "Yiddish With Dick and Jane," according to the New York Times.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims the book violates Pearson's copyright. The book, which has sold more than 100,000 copies since it was published in September by Little, Brown & amp; Co., is billed as a parody.
Not so, the lawsuit says. "Yiddish With Dick and Jane" "is not a parody, but is an unprotected imitation," the suit alleges.
Author Barbara Davilman, who co-wrote the book with Ellis Weiner, told the newspaper that she views the lawsuit as "a good old shakedown for money." The parody book takes Dick and Jane into adulthood, where they're faced with problems like adultery, ailing parents and sexual orientation.
Pearson declined to comment further on the lawsuit, according to the Times. Little, Brown -- a part of the Time Warner Book Group -- issued a statement defending its product.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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