Convicted Criminal Says His Name Is Copyrighted, Sues Court For Infringement

from the ah,-copyright-law dept

Not that this guy has much of a case, but if you want an example of just how screwy copyright law is, take a look at this case. A prison inmate in Missouri who was convicted of mail fraud is trying to sue the judge in his case for copyright infringement - claiming that he owns the copyright on his name. He's demanding $33 million - $500,000 for each time the name is mentioned in court documents. Amusingly, the newspaper article does not name the guy. Perhaps they're afraid of a lawsuit, too? Of course, sending out bogus lawsuits against the federal government probably isn't such a good idea. They're countersuing him for making false claims. He's also in trouble because he didn't actually file the legal documents to sue, but made up fake ones. Of course, while you may scoff at the claim that this guy has a copyright on his name, it may not be that far-fetched, since the Supreme Court has now said that Rosa Parks can sue the band Outkast for using her name in a song.
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  1. identicon
    LittleW0lf, 10 Dec 2003 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Apples and Oranges...

    Unless he has legally changed his name to something of his own choosing, his *parents* would technically hold the copyright on his name.

    Hmmm....another good point.

    When I first read your post, I thought about trademarks on public figure's names, since they weren't the ones to come up with the name, could they legally trademark their name? Then I remembered that there was no implicit requirement that a person comes up with the name in order to trademark the name, they just have to be the first to use it in trade. But since a number of actors aren't using their real names anyway, I guess they could come up with their own names.

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