Not surprisingly, professional crooks have figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em:
Four enterprising prison inmates have been accused of trying to blackmail their way out of jail after they copyrighted their names and then demanded millions of dollars from jail officials for using them without permission. [They] allegedly sent demand notices for payment to the warden of the El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma City and filed claims against his property.
They then hired someone to seize his vehicles, freeze his bank accounts and change the locks on his house.
Pretty stupid. But Techdirt has the right spin:
While the story is amusing, it does show how copyright law is being perceived these days. As intellectual property lawyers push more and more ridiculous positions concerning copyright law, people are beginning to realize that it can be used as a hammer for all kinds of ridiculous lawsuits that have absolutely nothing to do with creating incentives for the creation of new content.