from the ownership-society-at-work dept
When you think that ideas are ownable, you get absolutely ridiculous scenarios, such as the idea that anyone could ever "own" the idea of Oprah Winfrey visiting Australia. And yet, a dive boat operator in Australia is planning to sue Tourism Australia
, because of Oprah Winfrey's recent visit. You see, back in 2004, this guy by the name of John Heuvel, had the idea that it would be good for Austalia's tourism if Oprah visited the country. That seems like the kind of idea just about anyone could have, of course, however he insists that it was unique to him. He pitched it to Tourism Australia, who agreed to work with him to get Oprah to visit. They pitched Oprah in 2005, and she (or, rather, her company) turned them down. Fast forward to 2009. Heuvel thought he'd try again, and pitched Oprah's company directly (without the help of Tourism Australia). It appears there was no response.
However, last month, Oprah did finally go visit Australia, and Tourism Australia was (not surprisingly) heavily involved. However, Heuvel claims that since Tourism Australia had promised to work with him, it had now breached a contract. As for the idea that perhaps (just maybe) plenty of others at Tourism Australia might have had the idea of bringing perhaps the most recognizable entertainer in the world to the country to play up tourism in Australia? Why, that's impossible, according to Heuvel:
"Tourism Australia is saying that it thought up the idea, which is ludicrous."
Ludicrous? Really? Tourism Australia admits that it worked with Heuvel in 2005, and that that bid to lure Oprah down under failed. End of story. This latest trip was entirely unrelated. However, it appears that Heuvel really thinks that the idea itself is his and his alone, and that Tourism Australia owes him "millions" for actually having Oprah visit the country, without paying him first.