What’s in a name? Easter egg copyright fiasco


Mupfel80, 2013. Issued under a CC0 Declaration (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode).

Fearing a celebrity lawsuit for infringement of copyright, confectioner Thorntons has refused to sell a personalized chocolate Easter egg inscribed with a boy’s name ‘Rooney’.

Jo-Anne Scholes (mother of Rooney Scholes, supporter of Manchester United F.C. and owner of cats ‘Cantona’ and ‘Berbatov’) described the refusal as “barmy”, “madness”, “beyond belief” and “a total farce”.

The law of copyright in Britain does not protect people’s names – it protects works.  If you are planning to have something written on an Easter egg, but are unsure whether you are likely to infringe copyright, there is more information available here: https://copyright.lboro.ac.uk/copyright/copyright/.

For full details of the Rooney Easter egg, see: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/.

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