Opinions appreciated--on a not so hypothetical situation...

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Zombie Hunter
OK. Say someone, through a combination of talent, hard work, daring, and a little luck becomes successful/famous. And say that you could, through what is likely a coincidence, make a claim to a pretty important piece of their intellectual property. There's probably no chance that you could win a lawsuit over copyright infringement, but there's a reasonable chance that a production company would give you a few thousand just to sign a piece of paper and go away. Would you do the shakedown? Why or why not?
 
I wouldn't bother trying it. Without a solid chance at winning a lawsuit, or alternatively a pretty powerful name of your own that can make a lot of media noise, you'd be bluffing with nothing better than a pair of deuces.
 

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Zombie Hunter
The reason I hesitate is...I've realized what motivates me is helping people and solving problems. I enjoy that and it energizes me. There's nothing of that here. It's just an opportunistic money-grab from someone who's worked and earned it over something that I really put no work or effort into. That said, lots of people get paid lots of money for doing things that take no work. Heck, look at insurance. That's basically what this is--spending money on a piece of paper that protects you from an unexpected more expensive setback.
 

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Zombie Hunter
As an aside, the last class we had before I got my Master's degree, the instructor taped a $100 bill to the wall and said whoever figured out what they needed to do to get it could keep it. Throughout the lecture, people kept guessing and she kept telling them "no." Then I figured it out. I turned to the guy sitting next to me and said "just walk down there and take it." He just kind of smiled at me and shrugged. But a few minutes later he got up, walked down to the front of the classroom and pocketed the $100. I'd been right. But I hadn't had the guts or desire to do it myself. I'm kind of a Spock. I have good ideas but I need a Kirk who has the audacity to actually carry them out.
 

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Zombie Hunter
Shit, look at the number of writing credits Harlan Ellison has gotten--including "Terminator"--because it was easier to just give him what he wanted than it was to fight it.
 

jack

The Legendary Troll Kingdom
Like whats happening with that Lady Antebellum band changing their name to Lady A and this blues singer who has been cutting albums as "Lady A". They're suing her now for her name.
 

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Zombie Hunter
Yup. Or say you're George Lucas, circa 1980. All the hype for "Empire..." is ramping up and along comes a couple with a kid named "Chewbacca" that was born in 1973. Do you go to court over it or just write them a check for $5,000 if they agree to never bother you?
 
Like whats happening with that Lady Antebellum band changing their name to Lady A and this blues singer who has been cutting albums as "Lady A". They're suing her now for her name.
Apparently, Anita White (the other "Lady A") hit the band with a demand for $10M, which is what prompted the lawsuit. I don't see a way to root for either side. On the one hand, White had to know she wouldn't get a dime out of them, as they're probably the bigger, more powerful (lawyer-wise) act. On the other hand, I think she's right that they only changed their name as a woke pandering stunt, which is pretty despicable.
 

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Zombie Hunter
See that's the thing: You don't go after $10 million. $10 million is a lot of money. $10 million is worth fighting for. The key is to make an offer that is pocket change. Hit them up for $5 or 10 *thousand* and they go "Hmm...time, legal fees, lost profits, the possibility of losing..." and they write you a check out of petty cash. $10 million is stupid.
 
Shit, Lady Antebellum probably spends $5000 on catering.
Agreed. In fact, I don't see why they couldn't consider a $10K payoff to White to be just part of the cost of the rebranding for merch, album art, etc. They might even have gone into the name change expecting to make a payoff right about in that, say, $10-20K ballpark.
 

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Zombie Hunter
I may have to give this a shot.

On a different note, if you'll remember the early '90s, 2Live Crew's front-man went by the stage name "Luke Skyywalker." George Lucas got him to stop and collected $300K in damages. If you only get $300K for the main character of your multibillion dlollar sci-fi juggernaut, I don't see where some blues singer thinks she'll get $10M for her stage name. And she set herself up by making the suit, because now it's an existential threat. Handled better, she might have pocketed some cash and everyone could've gotten to a deal they could live with.
 
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