Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Intellectual Property Encounters

Last night I attended a high school fashion/variety show - I know you are jealous. As fascinating as the actual show was, the person I went to see was only in about five minutes of the hour and a half program, so naturally I found other things to capture my attention. Luckily, I didn't have to look too far.

There was a group of girls who were sitting right in front of me enjoying the show. They were your typical high school senior bunch - laughing at inside jokes and screaming at inhuman volumes for their 75 best friends who were on stage. But one girl stood out among the rest. She knew every word to every rap song they played, as well as the dance to go along with it. However, as impressive as her lyrical prowess was, it was her commentary on the show that I found most amusing.

The students in the skits kept using popular phrases like, "that's so legit," and other teen-speak, and every time they said something like that this girl would freak out and say, "Man! They keep stealing all MY phrases!" or, "Ugh! That's my word!" Yes, ladies and gentleman, last night I met the author of half of our modern catch phrases - jealous again, aren't you?

Now, it's been a while, but during my undergrad, I took a class on Mass Comm Law and we studied all kinds of things like intellectual property and trademarks and copyrights. I might not remember very many specifics from the course, but I did get an A and I'm pretty sure that the girl from last night would have a legal nightmare if she actually tried to claim all "her phrases" in court.

On the other hand, I wonder how much all eBayers would be willing to pay for an autograph from the creator of the word "legit"?

People can be so funny sometimes...

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