Among the many enjoyable aspects of the Cato conference was hearing Professor David K. Levine from UCLA present some of his research, showing how intellectual property laws often do exactly the opposite of what they're intended to do. It turns out that Prof. Levine and some others have recently started a blog called Against Monopoly, which looks like it'll be a worthwhile read. At the blog there's a great post that points to yet another case of intellectual property being taken too far... in a somewhat bizarre way. It turns out that the guy who recently bought most of the rights to Elvis Presley's "name and likeness" is threatening to require all Elvis impersonators to purchase a license. Apparently, he feels that "unauthorized" Elvis impersonators are diluting the Elvis brand. It's hard to see what sort of benefit it provides either society or the brand of Elvis to limit a good part of what has kept Elvis so popular all of these years, but it looks like (once again) we're seeing a focus on short term gains at the expense of long term business viability.
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