Anyone who was on social media yesterday knows what the title and subject of this commentary eludes to, cockygate. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I am going to start off with a brief summary of the past month of turmoil regarding this issue.
In early May 2018, an author published a crude and obviously self-written Cease and Desist letter from an author regarding her trademark of the word cocky in use of titles in a romance series. The C&D threatened legal action if the petitioned author did not respond by changing their title within a short time period. Not an easy task by any means, but I digress. The C&D also mentioned that if the author didn’t comply that they would legally seek all royalties and profits from the work as restitution for non-compliance.
That’s when bookworld blew up because the news was spreading like wildfire of what she had done. More and more authors received C&D letters, and notifications from Amazon of the supposed infringement of their use of the word cocky. FH had even reviewed a book by an author who had similar character names with a crudely written C&D letter. For those who don’t know, you cannot legally own a name that isn’t unique yet this woman feels she does own it. Author after author spoke out about similar experiences with FH, and the bookworld news reel took off. Readers, authors, bloggers, and all other literary professionals took to their social media pages voicing displeasure about her actions in hopes that she would reconsider when they reached out to her.
She did not and called the masses of people who were against her trademark bullies. A word that I think is being misconstrued on a daily basis by more than just FH. Let’s just read the dictionaries description of a bully.
1. a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
1. use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
FH was the person who initiated this act of aggression on others. Those who spoke out against, much like I am right now, are simply using their legally given right of the First Amendment of the Constitution of exercising my right of free speech. Bullies, we are not. We, as the collective of the people who make up bookworld, are angry at the precedent that she is setting.
Trademarking pen names and series names have long since been around. It’s a move to protect your work and your name from copycats. Had Faleena Hopkins, known as FH from here on, had stuck to just that, this would be a completely different story. But, she didn’t. She chose to move forward and legally try to own a trademark on a word that has long since been around before her series of books.
So, let’s fast forward to the current news on this topic. Last week FH through her attorney files for an TRO (temporary restraining order) and injunction against former attorney and sci-fi author Kevin Kneupper, who had filed a petition to cancel her trademark shortly after the news broke, Tara Crescent, an author who refused to change her cocky title, and Jennifer Watson, a publicist who was hired to promote a legal fee fundraising anthology entitled CockTales. An obvious move to try to block the cancellation proceedings of her trademark and to cease the sale of the anthology that is mocking her and raising funds to combat her claims in court. A move that she lost. The judge denied her injunction to block the anthology and Crescent’s other cock books being available for sale and the TRO request. judge also set a discovery hearing for Sept 2018.
This was a small victory in a very long fight ahead of us. Many people have asked via social media why this means so much to authors and readers alike. Both indie and traditionally published. The precedent this trademark makes could re-shape the literary world as we know it. The downhill effect is already beginning as other authors have filed to trademark generic words. And this is just the beginning. Until the case against FH is resolved, hopefully in our favor, authors will live in fear a trademark limiting their creative usage. Imagine having to wake up every morning to scour the USPTO for new filings that could come back on you. Imagine all the hours we are losing on this by not writing or promoting our books that are being buried by this case.
Cockygate doesn’t just harm authors, but readers as well, and if we don’t stand together in our desperate hour of need to squash this precedent down, bookworld may very well cease to exist for those who can’t pay to trademark. So while this battles out, please stick us as authors, and help support the cocky authors.
If you’d like to purchase the Cocktales Anthology, you may do so here:
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2ImisBR
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CockTalesGR
Happy Friday, everyone!
Today is a very special day in a couple of different ways. Not only is today is release of my Heaven's Rejects Vol 1 box set (links at the end of my post), but it is also my dear husband's thirty-third birthday. Something you may not know about me is that I tend to pick special days for releasing books. Birthdays, anniversaries, and special days of my childhood are the dates I look to when I am about to release a new book. Today is no exception.
I want to dedicate this post to my husband, Glen. Sappy? Maybe, but it's still going to happen.
My husband didn't start off in my live as a romantic interest. He was first off, my friend. In the small community we grew up in, everyone knew everybody. The crazy neighbors, the grumpy old men, and the ambitious kids. You knew their names, where they lived, and who they were related to. So, our paths crossing wasn't exactly a chance meeting like you would read in a romance novel, but it doesn't make our story any less special.
I still remember the first time I saw him. I was in kindergarten playing on the playground with a group of his friends on the grassy field surrounding it. He was a year older with lots of friends and played sports.
Me on the other hand was the book nerd girl who marched to the beat of her own drum.
We were two completely different people who had very different paths in life.
We were fast friends all throughout school until that awkward age of elementary/ junior high school happened. He turned to his sports career and I turned to my academics. But that period soon ended when we hit high school, a series of on-field injuries made sports impossible and he turned back to his school work now that a sports scholarship was out of the question. It wasn’t until my first year on the academic quiz bowl team that I realized how badly I was crushing on him. Like seriously crushing. He, on the other hand, was obliviously. Pay attention to that fact.
Giving up on him reciprocating my feelings, I dated a wrestling star from my sophomore year until almost the end of my senior year. Our break-up was devastating, but it opened the door for something else to blossom. You see my break-up came at a very bad time because it was two weeks before prom. My parents just spent a huge amount of money on my dream dress and, now I didn’t have a date. In steps Glen, my night in semi-formal dress. The weeks leading up to prom, our friendship turned into something more, but fears of the future sidelined it from developing anymore because Glen had accepted a scholarship offer to go to college in California. I was staying in state.
The new four years we kept in touch when we could. Texting and catching up when the other was home until he moved back home permanently to finish out his degree closer to home. While he in California I had settled into a pretty serious relationship with a man named Adam, but again, two weeks before graduation, I got the dreaded “It’s not you. It’s me e-mail.” Again devastated, I was an emotional wreck. But who should appear back into my life? Glen. He was fresh off of graduating college back in Indiana, and our paths fell back into place almost immediately after I moved back home while I was applying for jobs in Indianapolis.
That’s when everything changed in the right direction. We were together every moment we had behind our jobs. His then adopted nephew was the one who finally said enough already and called us on out not giving what we had between us a title just before Valentine’s Day 2009. We agreed that we were ready to pursue more and by June 2009, we were engaged. It was a whirlwind time in our lives. So happy yet so scared for the future. He had been offered a full-ride seminary scholarship in California and I was planning our wedding without him back in Indiana with the intent I was moving to California as soon as we were married.
But yet again, fate stepped in. Glen was injured on a rollercoaster and required medical attention that he wasn’t getting in California. He left his scholarship and came home, getting his shoulder fixed and stepping back in the church life he left behind.
From that point on, our life became a series of ups and downs from one medical crisis that nearly took him from me days before our wedding to another a few years later.
And now, you may be asking what the point of all this is. Why talk about my relationship history with my husband on a book blog? Well, that’s where things come full circle. The life I have lead with him from elementary school until present day is the reason why I am writing. The stories from our adventures together both good and bad often find themselves within the pages of my books.
Our story isn’t a fairytale romance, but it’s ours.
Bumps, triumphs, and failures.
It’s not perfect like the stories or characters I write.
But I wouldn’t change it any other way.
Happy Birthday to my real-life book boyfriend.
#NewRelease ➾ Heaven's Rejects MC Volume 1 by Avelyn Paige is available now!
Amazon US: http://a.co/8zZc40r
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/9ho4iMe
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2I9Bo76
Amazon CA: http://a.co/8Y67qcO
Add to Goodreads → https://bit.ly/2ryIAix
I want to welcome you to the new weekly feature on my re-designed web page. Each week I will be posting something new on Fridays. It could be a snippet from an upcoming book, an editorial piece about something happening in book world, reviews of my latest readers, spotlights for authors and bloggers, and many other things.
It will be random. Just like me.
I hope you'll enjoy the posts to come. Feel free to comment below or share.