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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/4946/elvis-impersonation-must-be-licensed/

Elvis Impersonation Must Be Licensed

April 25, 2006 by

Lawdy, Lawdy!:

Keith Olbermann reported last night on MSNBC’s “Countdown” that the new owner of 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises intends to start licensing Elvis impersonators. No license, no impersonation. (Read about it here.) If this stands, it means that no one will be free, without permission, to dress in a particular way, grow one’s hair and sideburns in a particular way, wear a particular kind of sunglasses, and sing particular songs in a particular style in public. “If we were going to do a show that was based on Elvis impersonators, then obviously it wouldn’t make sense to have unauthorised Elvis impersonators,” Robert Sillerman said.

Does someone want to argue that IP doesn’t entail the violation of individiual liberty?

Thanks to the handywork of Sheldon Richman, we all have another juicy reason to fall deeply in love with ‘intellectual property.’ Note: similar issues involve book reviewers as well as celebrities copyrighting body features. I guess someone should tell Pablo Francisco to find another line of work.

Via Mike Ewens.

{ 6 comments }

Mario April 25, 2006 at 2:45 pm

I’m not crazy about the idea, but it appears there’s an entire business model for licensing celebrity likenesses for commercial use:

http://pro.corbis.com/creative/services/rights/rightsrep.asp

Just how long is this supposed to go on? Sigmund Freud is there, for crying out loud. Why not then the Mayflower, giving all profits to its descendants?

L.R. April 25, 2006 at 2:52 pm

“If we were going to do a show that was based on Elvis impersonators, then obviously it wouldn’t make sense to have unauthorised Elvis impersonators,” Robert Sillerman said.

Well, duh! You *obviously* can’t have a business without getting the federal government to outlaw all competition, now, can you?

Curt Howland April 25, 2006 at 7:47 pm

Speaking of Mayflower, not only do I want a portion of all commercial uses of “Thanksgiving” or any facsimile thereof, since John Howland fell out of the boat once, I want money every time someone is portrayed as “falling from a boat”.

The royalties from “Gilligan’s Island” alone should keep me in high-end AMD 64bit systems for decades!

Paul D April 26, 2006 at 5:48 am

I’m just waiting for the copyright proponents to claim there’d be no incentive to impersonate Elvis without restricting sideburns, so this is clearly a win for the Elvis industry, and thus humanity. After all, that’s the same argument these shills use with music copyrights and drug patents.

BillOtt April 26, 2006 at 7:06 am

You dudes are thinking way way too recent. Copyright the likeness of Jesus Christ or Julius Caesar or better yet go the whole nine yards…Adam. You can copyright nakedness and of course Apples and the Garden of Eden. That is where the money is. You could sue Gutenbergs decendants!!!!! The most sold book of all time is the Bible. For a few million in donations to a few well connected senators you could rake in hundreds of billions.

Ike Hall April 28, 2006 at 10:56 pm

BillOtt:

I claim prior art. :-p

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