Sunday, 6 July 2014

Who Would Jesus Sue? This week in weird religious copyright trolling

Who Would Jesus Sue? We saw a couple of suggested answers to that question this week is a pair of high-profile copyright cases pursued by some of my fellow Christians.
First up is this story from The Hollywood Reporter, which is dismaying on several different levels: “Tyler Perry Wins ‘What Would Jesus Do’ Trademark Battle.” Eriq Gardner reports:
The other contestant in this bout was Kimberly Kearney, who was once known as “Poprah” on the VH1 series, I Want to Work for Diddy.
In May 2008, Perry registered the [trademark] in the category of entertainment services, mentioning in his filing live concerts, a TV program and motion pictures. He included a disclaimer that he wasn’t attempting ownership on the exclusive right to use “Jesus” apart from “What Would Jesus Do.”
However, months earlier, Kearney had already filed for that same mark for a reality television program.
When her “What Would Jesus Do” mark was then published for opposition two years later, Tyler Perry Studios stepped forward to cancel it. Although Kearney had included in her registration a print-out of a web page calling for auditions on her show, Perry’s reps said that she wasn’t really using the mark. Perry demanded that the Trademark Office declare her registration abandoned as it was blocking his own attempts to turf out “What Would Jesus Do.”
So we have not one, but two parties vying to be the first to produce a reality TV show based, somehow, on the question “What Would Jesus Do?”
Episode One: What Would Jesus Do? Not this. Roll credits. End of series.
This involves more ironies than I could name or number, but let’s just list four of them.
1. The answer to “What Would Jesus Do?” is probably never “Hire thREAD MORE

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