by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 8th 2009 6:30am
While some may point out that the bigger issue in this story may be ego, hubris or (perhaps) corruption, the story of Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, and his $27 million statue has a ridiculous intellectual property twist, as well. Apparently, Wade had the government spend $27 million on a statue with a "heroic" pose -- this is a country where the per capita yearly income seems to be in the low four figures (CIA Factbook says $1,600). Approximately half of the country lives in poverty. So, clearly, what they need is a giant expensive statue. But the IP angle is that Wade is claiming, since the statue was his idea, he, personally, should receive 35% of any tourism revenue, as a royalty. So, just to get this straight -- he appears to have used a bunch of taxpayer money to spend millions on a statue -- and he wants to personally get a huge cut of all tourist revenue. And while this may be driven by corruption, it's the sort of concept that would only occur to someone in a world where such "ownership" and demands for royalties after an idea is put in place are commonplace.
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