IP gets crazier: songwriter sues OKC Thunder

Credit: flickr/fotologic

Charles Syrus wrote a song containing "Let's Go Thunder" and sued the basketball team for putting that slogan on banners and t-shirts.

In 2007, the Seattle SuperSonics announced they were moving to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder. Explained in The Lost Ogle, Syrus wrote a song containing the words "go Thunder" and "let's go Thunder," copyrighted it, then sent it to the team. When those slogans appeared in team PR, Syrus sued, asking for "20-30% of net gross" [sic].

Believe it or not, the suit made it to the U.S. 10Th Circuit Court of Appeals. Doing the right thing, they correctly stated the words in question, "are, in other words, 'ordinary,'" Syrus promptly appealed to the Supreme Court, which ignored him. The concept of "my Intellectual Property is worth something and I'll sue to prove it," seems alive and well in Oklahoma City.

IP craziness

Reminds me of Donald Trump when he wanted to copywright “You’re fired!” for The Apprentice.

Brody McMullen on thelostogle.com

YEAH, but the obnoxious Aggies of Texas A&M successfully claimed ownership of the phrase "Twelfth Man", and won't let nobody, nobody else use it.

Eugene on sports.yahoo.com

This is probably an anomaly but I do think people have a ridiculous notion about the ownership of ideas.

Anonymous Coward on techdirt.com

Yeah, for general phrases, or phrases less than 5 words, usually can't get copy rights for that. Thus, why T shirts can't be copy righted, and lets go doesn't work.

trh2000_ on sports.yahoo.com

How about "threepeat" and "one for the thumb" for silly copyrights.

John Katos on techdirt.com

Courts can be crazy

People have been trying to claim ownership of simple words and phrases for a while. It doesn't usually go over well unless you're a deep-pocketed corporation.

MrWilson on techdirt.com

Tort reform wasn't needed to throw this case out before it came to trial even once, just the intelligence of an amoeba. Unfortunately, it was presented to an American judge.

GuantanamoGeorge on sports.yahoo.com

Can I go IP crazy, too?

If he had been successful I was fully prepared to copyright the “F-Bomb” and all phrases containing said “F” word. Too bad. I was going to be rich. “F” the Supreme Court.

Hobo Joe on thelostogle.com

Had it worked, him and his children and grandchildren never would have to work another day in their lives. If he seriously thought he was in the RIGHT however then he's a complete idiot.

illuminaut on techdirt.com

And here we thought the patent battles in IT and smartphones couldn't get any worse. Let's hope Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Samsung don't have songwriters on the payroll.

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