In a Telenovela Copyright Lawsuit, There's No Room For Amor

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On July 10, a Venezuelan TV station decided to take the daring intrigue of the telenovela and bring it to the less exciting world of copyright litigation.

LaTele is suing Telemundo, claiming that, in 2008, the Miami-based station created a telenovela, "El Rostro de Analia," whose plot and characters they stole from hit 1980s Venezuelan soap "Maria Maria." Unlike a telenovela, the actual court proceedings likely will not feature beautiful women, conniving villains and countless murder plots. That's why we decided to let this play out in our own telenovela, "Amor de la Sangre Prohibida de Amor." (It's a working title.)

INT. BEDROOM - DAY. DIEGO VILLAS DE LA MANCHA FERNANDEZ, dashing attorney for LaTele, and his wife ESMERALDA lay in bed. DIEGO has a chiseled jaw, dark eyes and, for some reason, is wearing a white cowboy hat.

DIEGO: Oh, Esmeralda, I can't believe that it's been only one week since we found each other at the hospital as we were recovering from bouts of amnesia after separate car crashes, only to learn that we had actually been married all this time!

ESMERALDA: I know, Diego, but true love brought us back together.

DIEGO: Indeed, my love. And once I am done with this copyright infringement trial for LaTele Television against Telemundo, we will be truly happy.

ESMERALDA: Your father would be so proud of you, Diego. It's a shame he was murdered by that assassin dressed as a priest who bore a striking resemblance to your evil uncle Fernando. And just as your father was about to tell us all what had happened to your mother after that other car crash.

DIEGO: We need to invest in safer cars, or at least drive more slowly going around corners.

Suddenly, the door to the bedroom flies open. In steps ERNESTO DE ROJAS Y SOTO HERNANDEZ, the defense lawyer for Telemundo. He looks just like Diego, except his hair is grey, he has a goatee, he wears an eyepatch over his right eye and a black cowboy hat. He grins wickedly as he steps in, brandishing a pistol.

ERNESTO: Diego, I am here to put a stop to your pathetic lawsuit! You will never get Telemundo to surrender all copies of the show, nor will you get a cent from my corporate masters!

DIEGO: Ernesto, you scoundrel, do you really think you can beat me? Look at the case! "Maria Maria" had a plot that consisted of two women, Maria and Julia, getting their identities switched after a car accident, with Maria imprisoned and Julia taking over Maria's life, leading Maria to try to win back her rightful place. Meanwhile, "El Rostro" had a plot that consisted of two women, Mariana and Analia, getting their identities switched after a car accident, with Aliana imprisoned and Mariana taking over Aliana's life, leading Maria to try to win back her rightful place. You guys didn't even change the names up much. No jury in the world would rule for Telemundo, unless that jury was bought off by my evil cousin Federico.

ESMERALDA: Why do you have so many evil family members?

ERNESTO: Be that as it may, Diego, I can't let you win ... brother!

The music swells, and the camera does a dramatic closeup of DIEGO's face, then ERNESTO's, then ESMERALDA's, then DIEGO's again, then a POTTED PLANT in the corner, then ERNESTO's again, then an ADORABLE PUPPY in the doorway, and then DIEGO one last time.

DIEGO: Brother! But how could that be? You were raised by nuns in an orphanage!

ERNESTO: I learned this from the nun who cared for me, when she told me the truth on her deathbed at the hospital after she was injured in a fiery car crash.

ESMERALDA: Do all the cars here have faulty brakes or something?

ERNESTO: But brother or not, you will not win!

ERNESTO raises his gun and points it at DIEGO. ESMERALDA screams. Suddenly, there's the crack of a whip. The gun flies out of ERNESTO's hand. Standing in the doorway is HUMBERTO OLIVIERI MICHELENA, the head writer of "Maria Maria," brandishing a whip and wearing a cowboy hat with another cowboy hat on top of it.

ERNESTO: Humberto! How did you find me?

HUMBERTO: That same nun who told you about your family told me that you were coming here to exact revenge. She's actually doing much better. You should send her flowers. But just as I will not let Telemundo steal my work, I will not let you kill your brother. You're coming with me!

ERNESTO: Or so you think!

There's a puff of smoke, and ERNESTO is gone. Only his black cowboy hat and eyepatch remain.

DIEGO: That was weird. Anyway, I will track Ernesto down and win this case. And then, Esmeralda, we will be wed again!

The two kiss as HUMBERTO looks on smiling and the ADORABLE PUPPY barks. All laugh. FADE OUT.

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