Another copyright miasma.
February 2, 2002 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Another copyright miasma. The Todd M. Beamer Foundation, named for the passenger who reportedly foiled the hijackers of United Flight 93, wants to copyright the phrase "let's roll" for its own non-profit uses. But others applied for the copyright first. Says one: "I don't care what your name is, it's first in, first swim. It's all about good old American capitalism." So who's the hero here?
posted by argybarg (14 comments total)
Damn. You take the time to phrase and check your post, you pay.
posted by argybarg at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2002

isn't this stereotypical overcomoditization the kind of thing the Al Qaeda wants to destroy?
posted by mcsweetie at 10:03 AM on February 2, 2002 if you don't commodify that term, the terrorists win!
posted by palegirl at 10:10 AM on February 2, 2002

oh we all know the only hero that deserves a 'copyright' to that phrase is optimus prime.
posted by jcterminal at 10:12 AM on February 2, 2002

This is a trademark fight. It has nothing to do with copyright.
posted by rcade at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2002

rcade: of course you're right. All the more reason why this thread awaits the Mathowie Hand of Death.
posted by argybarg at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2002

Yes, it's true: our new ethic, following that half-week of "Let's Roll," is "First In, First Swim."© Which I have copyrighted.
posted by aaronetc at 10:52 AM on February 2, 2002

"All the more reason why this thread awaits the Mathowie Hand of Death."

excuse you. Hand of Justice.
posted by jcterminal at 10:52 AM on February 2, 2002

What about Eye of Arbitration? Or, to cite one of Dylan's worst song titles, Foot of Pride?
posted by argybarg at 11:43 AM on February 2, 2002

and what is to be said of the buttock of righteousness?
posted by mcsweetie at 2:30 PM on February 2, 2002

I've never understood the reasoning behind the relative protections of copyright -> trademark -> patent. It seems that the more effort that a creative act requires the more restrictive the government is of protection it will provide.
posted by Real9 at 4:16 PM on February 2, 2002

i'd thought the GW speechwriters had already trademarked it.
posted by fishfucker at 6:29 PM on February 2, 2002

Copyright is not the same as trademark.

Jeez. When will people learn? Or should I count my blessings that it wasn't spelled "copywrite"?

fish: the government is generally unable to copyright or trademark anything. If it's created by public servants, it's public domain.

Real9: You're looking at intellectual property backwards. The sunset on a patent is arguably more important than the period of protection, because at that point more innovation can take place.

In this case, I would have a very hard time ruling that the phrase is trademarkable at all, though I have sympathy for the idea of preventing so-called profiteering. It would be a nice gesture if the White House counsel .. might I suggest even Solicitor General Ted Olson? ... were to file an amicus curiae equivalent when this reaches the courts in favor of the foundation -- though I have serious doubts about their standing to make the claim.
posted by dhartung at 7:39 PM on February 2, 2002


was just joking, my friend.
posted by fishfucker at 6:19 PM on February 3, 2002

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