Access Copyright Claims Trademark On The Copyright Symbol

from the you-have-to-be-kidding-me dept

Okay. This is just insane. Via Howard Knopf, we learn that Canadian copyright licensing agency Access Copyright is claiming to hold the trademark on the classic copyright symbol: ©. You can see it in their new website:
While there are three TMs in the image, at least two of them (top logo and in the righthand column) appear to be on the copyright symbol itself. You can see one directly here:
Are they serious? I mean, I recognize that maximalists believe strongly in copyright, patents and trademarks together... but it still seems insane that a group like Access Copyright would make a totally ridiculous trademark claim on the © symbol.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    charliebrown (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Stake My Claim

    Quick! What's the address for the USPO? I need to get my patent on ™ before somebody else does!

     

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    Anonymous Poster, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    The "TM" is gone now; methinks they realized their mistake.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      Still, it raises an interesting question. The US hasn't required the © symbol since the seventies. Could it be considered an abandoned trademark? What exactly is the status of ©?

       

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    charliebrown (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Further Inspection

    Apparently it was a mistake, they meant to ™ the name and style of writing "access©" not the actual © symbol. Their website now has removed the ™ from the © symbol.

     

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      Ben (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:52am

      Re: They must have watched the Daily Show and got the idea

      On The Colbert Report last week he did a skit on the trademarking of "Seal Team Six" and then said he was going to trademark the TM (so the TM had a little TM subscripted). I don't browse Comedy Central (which has it's own copyright-looking symbol) to have a link to the right segment...

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    See the "dot"

    Appears to still have a white dot where the TM used to be like it was just made really small.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    humor

    so we suppose this means that a US company effectively cannot claim they own copyright on anything?

    ahh yes, unintended consequences. Why hello, RIAA.

     

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    johnjac (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Not just for Stetson®

    ©™ suck

     

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    STJ, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Can I copyright the use of the .com/.net system. NO your browser is not allowed to use a URL because I haven't received my payment yet!!

     

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    RD, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    The cows have come home to roost

    Well, this can hardly be all that surprising. When you push and create "education campaigns" and try to brainwash everyone into believing that you can own ANY idea or expression, then blatant overreach like this is going to be a natural outcome.

    It's like when you are told "ignorance of the law is no excuse" over and over with a blunt hammer, but when a cop pulls a gun on a guy lawfully carrying a holstered gun where its allowed and has the proper permits for it, threatening to kill him if he doesnt comply with a raving lunatic who doesnt even KNOW its legal, you dont really have the credibility to turn around and say "ah, the cop didnt know the LAW, so he was just being careful. No big." Sorry, it doesnt wash.

    You cant have these things both ways, and you cant go around hammering "sharing is THEFT!" and "I OWN that idea!" and expect any less than massive and illegal overreach like we see here.

    I cant wait for the RIAA or some other org to come after me for selling my own music that I own the copyright on. They dont represent me, I never gave them assignment to work on my behalf, they have no right. But watch, it will start happening soon. They will make a massive land-grab and try to get laws enacted that will make it de facto that if its music, they represent it, regardless.

     

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    drewmo (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    No, they're not serious, if you look in the comments of that link, they called it a typo and they've removed it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      That's one hell of a typ®.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      I'm not really sure they know what a "typo" is.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2011 @ 12:28am

      Re:

      No, they're not serious, if you look in the comments of that link, they called it a typo and they've removed it.

      Sorry, but that's just not believable. A typographical error would be like if they just hit the wrong key on the keyboard. It takes quite a bit more than that to do what they did. It looks more like it was intentional, they got caught, and now they're trying to lie their way out.

       

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    Transbot9, May 19th, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Well...

    There is a huge difference between claiming a trademark and registering a trademark. In the US, at least, they would have to register the trademark before actually bringing someone to court over it.

     

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    Ken, May 19th, 2011 @ 9:32am

    So does this make copyrighting something a copyright infringement?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      No, it makes copyrighting something TRADEMARK infringement! By the way, who owns the trademark on the trademark symbol?

       

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    ©onclusion, May 19th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    ©apital ©oincidence

    ©omplete ©ompliance ©an ©onvince ©opyright ©ons

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    The ©™ Logo is Trademark (TM©) 2011 Access Copyright. Trademark© Copyright of Access Copyright™©. ™© Is a registered trademark of Copyright Access. Copyright™ 2011 All Rights Reserved (TM). All Rights Reserved (TM) is a Trademark© of the Copyright Logo©™, All Rights Reserved, 2011. The Copyright Logo©™©™ Is a Copyrighted Trademark, 2011 All Rights reserved.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 4:30pm

    It boggles the mind.

    That screenshot is like the IP maximalist Hall of Mirrors.

     

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    Lauriel (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Define irony

    I love the irony of a copyright licensing company called "Access". Unless the full company name is "Access,ltd"?

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:15pm

    Where’s Nina Paley When You Need Her?

    She could have some fun with this. :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    I really really hope this was a joke. It has to be. I know it isnt, I know, but let me believe for a little while!

     

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    btr1701 (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Surprised?

    Given the insanity surrounding IP, this was bound to happen at some point.

     

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    Tom Anderson, May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:02am

    They do not have copyright over the word Access. However, they use the term Access (c) TM. This should be illegal, since it creates in the minds of the people some type of association with the term Access being copyrighted.

    Total scam organization, apparently.

     

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    hmm (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    well

    Patent 666
    1. method and system for automatically having the patent/copyright/trademark on anything you want without doing a damn thing about creating anything or filing anything or any paperwork whatsoever, and automatically suing the living hell out of anyone/everyone including but not limited to real people, hallucinations and jerry the tap-dancing neon-green shark.

     

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