"Louis the Louse, I am authorized to inform you of your rights. You are permitted to make one telephone call."
"Okay, I want to speak to the Heartongue Literary Agency. Hello, Heartongue: This is Louie the Louse. I think I got a good one for you this time. I heisted a Brink's truck of 20-million bucks, hijacked the Rolling Stones' private airplane and forged cliff Robertson's name to a check for $150.000. My attorney thinks it could be a "Lit Guild Selection of the Month. No, I won't say anything until you get here."
A half-hour later Louie the Louse is sitting under a white electric light bulb surrounded by the district attorney and his underlings.
"Louie, who were your accomplices in the Brink's robbery?"
Louie says, "I refuse to answer on the grounds that my answer would damage the newspaper synidication rights of my story."
The district attorney says, "You told Sgt. Brophy then you were brought in that these were four of you in on the Brink's b including an inside man. Who was the inside man?"
"Wait," says Heartongue, "Newsweek has just offered us $50,000 for the name of the inside man, providing it doesn't appear in The Washington Post first."
Louise looks straight at the district attorney. "You can burn my fingers, you can dung my head in the bathtub, you can knock out my teeth, but I'll never rat on Newsweek."
"Louie, we got all the avidence we need. We have pictures of you hijacking the Rolling Stones' airplane."
"Let me see those," Heartongue says. "You have no right to these photos. I sold them exclusively to New York magazine."
"They're state's evidence," the district attorney says, "They're part of the public record which we hope will be used to convict Louie the Louse."
"Do you mean to say that you would use photographs that were sold to a magazine on an exclusive basis just to prove a criminal case against my client? Have you no legal ethics?"
"I'm not sure what you're driving at, Heartongue."
"The Constitution provides that every person accused of a crime is entitled to sell his story to a magazine, a newspaper, a hardcover book company and a paperback publisher. The value of his story is based on what he did not tell the grand jury or the FBI. If you reveal the facts in this case, the TV bidding on Louie's book could be seriously damaged."
"Maybe so," the district attorney says. "But my only concern is justice. We have a guy who stole from a Brink's truck, hijacked an airplane and forged a movie actor's name to a check. Now he has to be punished."
"He will be," Heartongue said. "But he wants to save it all for the book. Give us a break. A guy's got a right to make a buck on his own crime."
The district attorney says, "It's out of my hands. There are 100 reporters as well as photographers and TV cameras out there. How do I explain to them that Louie's story is copyrighted and they have no rights to it?"
"That's your problem. My client has committed a perfectly valid crime which, on today's literary market, is worth anywhere up to seven figures. By making these crimes common knowledge you are depriving him of his literary and subsidiary rights under the Author's League and Dramatists Guild contracts."
The district attorney ignores him. "Okay, Louie, let's try once more. When did you forge Cliff Robertson's name on a check?"
Louie says, "I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may be getting a call from David Frost at any moment."