Thursday, July 19, 2007

Inmates Accused in Name Copyright Scheme

Only in the US?:

"What's in a name? How about a scheme to get out of prison? Four federal inmates were indicted Tuesday on allegations that they copyrighted their names, then demanded millions of dollars from prison officials for using the names without authorization."

Reminds me of Leo Stoller who claimed to have trademarked the word "stealth" and the phrase "freedom of expression" amongst others. On the latter, Kimbrew McLeod got there before him. Another guy with the surname Brilliant did likewise, copyrighting pithy phrases and aphorisms and deriving a tidy sum from sending nastygrams to people who innocently used these propertised collections of words threatening legal action unless they paid up. The one I remember off the top of my head is a publisher who paid him off relating to a TV presenter's autobiography "Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Apparently these guys in prison went even further though, allegedly hiring someone to seize the warden's house and possessions and change the locks. Then when they thought their hired hand had completed his activities they told the warden he could have his house back if he let them out of prison. The craziness rating of IP stories is showing no signs of letting up.

No comments: