So, you might have heard about a certain author, who for the sake of not giving her any more publicity we shall call “Not Smart”, and her attempt at trademarking the word “cocky” with a specific font. Dear readers not only is Not sSmart unbelievably cocky in her desire to do so, but also in how and to who she is choosing to threaten with her C&D orders.
First off, it isn’t the word she has trademarked (or attempting to). It’s the word WITH the font style. In other words, she’s trying to say this specific word + font is a logo. Fine, except she doesn’t own the rights to the font either from what I’ve gathered.
As for the word “cocky” its origins are older than she is. As a matter of fact, the word originated in the 16th century… 500 years ago! It is beyond fair use at this point in history. Not to mention it isn’t uncommon enough to be out of the mainstream, as the HUNDREDS of book titles with it prove.
Now, let’s talk about her reasons for trademarking this cocky logo. Apparently she’s received emails from her readers claiming they’ve lost money because they purchased books with “cocky” in the title only to find out it wasn’t hers. I’m sorry, what? Is she saying her readers are incapable of checking something as simple as the author name on a book before purchasing? Not Smart, by this logic, is calling her readers stupid, or at the very least unobservant.
The crazy doesn’t end there! As mentioned above she has sent out Cease & Desist orders (C&D) to indie authors with the word cocky in their titles, claiming they can keep their royalties and reviews if they just change the title. She then has the audacity to say that by doing so it in no way harms them. Not Smart, you REALLY aren’t smart are you? Have you no idea the work that goes into branding a book? Promo images, banners, swag, cover art ALL of this is made. Changing the book title would mean everything already made for the previous title is now wasted, and LOST money! How does this not harm the author?
Also, I do realize she hasn’t gone after any of the NYT Bestsellers… I wonder why?
The final thing I’m going to talk about is a small somethin’, somethin’ that was brought up. It seems Not Smart is also trying to copyright character names. Yes, you read that right. She’s trying to copyright NAMES! Lordy this woman has an ego bigger than Texas!
Yes, your book is protected under copyright, and that includes your characters. But names? Not Smart, do you have any idea how many characters are named oh I don’t know, Luna? Let’s start with a really famous one from a little book called Harry Potter. Maybe you’ve heard of it? You didn’t invent the name! You have no right to demand people don’t use it.
In closing, Not Smart, you are an unbelievably shallow and cocky woman and I hope you get whatever karma is headed your way. Please, let the door hit you on the way out of the writing community. We’ll be sure to slam it.
Here’s a link to a legal page describing this developing situation: http://legalinspiration.com/?p=503
Mondays: Free post days where I post about anything I feel like talking about.