The little Pennsylvania town I used to live in gathered some of it's income from an "occupational category" tax - you paid a fixed fee depending on what your job title was. Doctors so much, street sweepers less, "housewives" a pittance. It's been struck down as unrepresentative and illegal everywhere it's been challenged, and the town agrees it should be eliminated. BUT, they see no reason to do so until a citizen specifically (pays to) challenge it. It's been decades...
I doubt very much the Academy is concerned with the $40k. It's more like preserving the dignity of the institution; after all, selling family heirlooms on eBay IS kinda tacky. But, as I well know, sometimes you have to do unpleasant things. We know nothing of the financial circumstances of the heirs. Nor do we know the substance of any agreements between the Academy and the original recipient. It's vaguely possible there was an agreement that, like some other awards, grants only possession, not ownership.
What we DO know is, it's in incredibly poor taste to publicly sue the heirs. if they were REALLY interested in dignity, they would have made a behind-the-scenes offer equivalent to the eBay selling price. Smooth move, Academy.
Hey, kids! Remember the Keurig Vue? Neither does anyone else! When the patents ran out on their original K-cups, they brought out the incompatible Vue, which used different cups and a different patent. People practically lined up not to buy them, and they're strangely absent from Keurigs current offerings.
Original K-cup brewers, however, remain. Ignore the 2.0 and it'll just go away, too.
Or to a regional or national legal defense fund. You know, to help correct the overwhelming balance of legal power between prosecutor and defendant. THAT would serve the interests of justice, which of course is what this is all about - right?
If there are no possible consequences for your misdeeds, you can be as stupid and careless as you want. For it to reach this level, the ATF agents have been pushing the limits, and getting away with it, for a LONG time.
Any reasonable person, faced with a bill that introduces unacceptable (and as you say, unrelated) provisions, would simply not vote for it. "BZZZT! Take it back and try again." But, these are not reasonable people.
No. It's all a business equation, not a sense of humor, or less, common sense. The minuscule annoyance of the parody naming was worth a letter, but not further action. No one at Saks came to their senses, they just punched numbers into a calculator.
I guess it IS a distinctive regional taste. We actually have a self-proclained "New York Style" pizzeria here in Pennsylvania. The pizza is slightly thinner, and much greasier, than the other shops in the area.