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Production Company Threatening Lawsuit Over “Borrowed” Program

March 24, 1993

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) _ The producer of the ″Barney and Friends″ children’s show is threatening to sue a company that uses a cable public access channel for lifting a ″Barney″ program and superimposing slogans and images.

The Athens Cable Access Center, a nonprofit producer of local programming, broadcast images of the purple-and-green dinosaur puppet Friday.

Superimposed over the Barney program were video art and the phrases ″Submit to Barney″ and ″Barneyness is next to Godliness.″ One woman said she saw a swastika.

A co-producer of the fake ″Barney″ show, Sean Pogue, said there was no conscious attempt to associate the Barney character with Nazism.

″We worship Barney the dinosaur. We did a television show we thought was entertaining,″ Pogue said.

The producer of the real Barney program, Lyons Group production company of Allen, Texas, sent a letter of complaint to the Athens center Monday, saying it is considering a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Continental Cablevision, which carries the public access channel used by Athens Cable Access, said it cannot censor public access channels, but that viewers who object to a channel’s programming can have it locked out of their reception.

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