Copyrighting a Name or 83 Years

As a published author, I’m very aware of copyrights. The books I’ve written are copyrighted. This blog is copyrighted. That doesn’t prohibit anyone from making an excerpt–that’s covered under “fair use”–but it does prohibit individuals from plagiarizing the blog. That has happened, and I had to have my attorney send a cease and desist letter. But I digress….

There are things you cannot copyright, too. One of the things that you cannot copyright is your own name. A Youngstown, Ohio man who pleaded guilty to part in a $3 million tax fraud has billed the Youngstown Vindicator $6 million for using his name in two stories. The man, who is facing 83 years at ClubFed, may be waiting those 83 years for payment (when he would be 124). Of course, if you become “in the news” (which would include pleading guilty to your part in a $3 million crime), you become fair game for the news media.

Hat Tip: Joe Kristan

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