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US Presidential 08: Silly Plagiarism

March 3, 2008

If you’ve followed the US prediential elections, you’ll know that Hillary made a lame-ass charge against Obama for stealing speech lines from his good buddy and campaign co-chair Deval Patrick while ignoring the fact that she herself had used a battle cry (Yes we will) that sounded suspiciously similar to Obama’s signature Yes We Can.

Then someone in Hillary’s campaign said plagiarism hurts not just the person who speaks it but also the listener. I never found his explanation of how the listener would be hurt.

That whole episode was a major WTF moment for me. I tell you, some people will just do anything to stay in the boxing ring.

But I think the US is a strange country anyway. Its one of the few places on earth where you can actually take words right out of the common dictionary and claim them to be your own under some weird-ass trade mark rule. Word like “Its complicated” by Facebook or “I’m lovin’ it” by McD.

Its only a matter of time before some guy trademarks the phrase “Ma I need to go to the toilet!” and you can be sued for using that term in your moment of great need. I mean how far can you (or want to) carry this whole thing?

Knowing that the US is one of the most litigous countries in the world, you do know that you could turn this whole plagiarism thing into a gold mine don’t you. Just hire a damn good lawyer on a profit sharing basis and come up with some classic everyday lines. How about Ouch! (TM), What the Fark (TM), or Tiu Nia Seng (TM).

You quickly trademark all that, set up a blog and write some stupid stuff containing your phrases to publicly associate yourself to the words, keep your ears close to the ground and then sue the pants off everyone who dares to use your trademarked phrase. How’s that for a business plan. hehe.

Come to think of it, maybe Hillary should use this strategy to raise sorely-needed campaign funds.

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