a boastful and self-important person; a strutting little fellow.
This silly little insult is brought to you today by Merriam-Webster, and by an author who writes under the name Faleena Hopkins.
Faleena, who certainly is cockalorum, has filed a trademark on her brand, which happens to be a stylized version of the word cocky. After that, which wasn’t an irrational or unreasonable thing to do, she lost her ever-lovin’ mind.
Not content with claiming the specific font choice identifier of her phallic-centric series (I assume, since it’s either that or it’s about boffing chickens), Faleena started reporting fellow authors to Amazon for copyright violations. Authors who, in some cases, had published years before her brand trademark was filed.
That isn’t how this works. That’s not how any of this works!
First of all, I am not a lawyer nor do I even pretend to have any notion of IP law. I do know some people I could ask, and may do so after this. But still, I’m pretty darn sure that a bawd which has been around since at least the Elizabethan era cannot be trademarked in toto (no, autocorrect, that’s a word, not the dog’s name. But it can’t be claimed exclusively there, either, even if Groucho did comment it was too dark to read inside a dog). She can, and evidently has, trademarked the specific form of the word: ie the stylized representative form by using that font choice. But any common word cannot be trademarked.
Getting away from the legality of this nonsense, I’m really hoping that she’s figured out this stunt is not good publicity. Because no-one can have been so dim as to have started this hoping for anything other than publicity, or possibly trying to force Amazon not to automatically assume copyright violation reports are valid. The majority of the improbably-named author’s readers are unlikely to know or care she’s being a gigantic cockalorum, but the community of authors won’t touch her with a ten-foot pole now.
Why does that matter? To Faleena, who thinks the way to succeed is to ambush and undermine her competition, it doesn’t. To someone like me, who would never have published without friends and mentors, it matters a lot. I enjoy helping my fellow authors reach a broader audience by linking to their books, blogs, and asking them for recipes to make. Which I then featured alongside one of their books. It’s my way of giving back. Heck, even when I have been attacked, have had my friends contacted to “shut Cedar up” and have been threatened with legal action for reporting someone’s words, I haven’t named and shamed. This? This is different. This is someone pulling a stupid stunt that could really harm other authors. Amazon pulls reported books off the ‘shelf’ as it were and that can break links, leading to long-term promotional problems.
Congratulations, cockalorum Faleena.You’re famous. Only… I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what you were aiming for.
Updated to add two things. One, I’m writing on my phone because my computer and desk are at the new house but not set up yet. Sorry about the formatting.
Second, for a lot more details from an actual lawyer, read this.