If you grew up with Reading Rainbow, you were apart of a generation that benefitted from the genius of LeVar Burton and PBS. But did you know he doesn’t even own his catchphrase: “But you don’t have to take my word for it”? He’s often heard saying the legendary phrase on his podcasts “LaVar Burton Reads” and it can be seen on his “Skybrary by Reading Rainbow” app. WNED-TV, a Buffalo, NY PBS-affiliated station has sued Burton for using the words to boost his podcast and also planning on making a Reading Rainbow reprisal without cutting them in.
WNED said in a statement:
“As evidenced by Mr. Burton’s conduct since he began ‘teasing’ the public about the return of ‘Reading Rainbow’ years before his company acquired any rights to do so, Mr. Burton’s goal is to control and reap the benefits of ‘Reading Rainbow’s’ substantial goodwill — goodwill that unquestionably belongs to WNED,”
In their suit against Burton they claim “copyright infringement, conversion, cybersquatting, violations of the Lanham Act, breach of contract and interference with customer relations,” and they seek to profit from his podcast for using the phrase.