Palin: if you say it, you must pay it

by Karen Topakian

To stop me as a child from saying the words shut up or stupid, my parents required that I deposit a nickel in a green plastic piggy bank every time I did. They believed that, literally, putting my money where my mouth was would curtail my language. To a degree they were correct. It didn’t take long for me to find other ways to curse out my sister. For free.

Today I can see that I might be faced with the same dilemma.

A.P. reports that Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol are filing for trademark status for their names. The usage would be limited to “a website featuring information about political issues; and educational and entertainment services, including motivational speaking in the fields of politics, culture, business and values.”

If the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approve their request, I will be charged with copyright infringement anytime I use their names in other venues or places or ways. Which will cost me money.

If and when that happens, I will never utter either of their names aloud. Nor will I write them down, type them, post them, sing or sign them.

Will you help me find a way to refer to them for free?

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