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This week's IP news round-up

24 January 2005

Monday’s child is full of intellectual property, as the saying goes. And so what better day to catch up with the last seven days of IP news? Here we go…

Dick and Jane – America’s equivalent of Janet and John – have found themselves in trouble with the law, reports The Times. The characters have appeared in an unauthorised book entitled ‘Yiddish with Janet and John’ in which the incredibly-WASPish twosome are seen talking in Yiddish. Janet and John’s official publishers, Pearson Education are suing Little, Brown over the parody which has sold over 100,000 copies. Little, Brown are defending the action, claiming that the book is just a parody. Oy vey, tsorus and broygus.

Meanwhile, at 5,000 years old, the swastika may be out of copyright but that hasn’t stopped it becoming the centre of an ownership squabble. Hindus in Britain have started a campign to ‘reclaim’ the symbol from its Nazi past and to restore it as a symbol of life and fortune.

Jyotsna Thanki, president of the Hindu Council of Birmingham, said “the important thing to understand is that when a Hindu uses the Swastika symbol, it is not a representation of Nazi fascism but of Hindu devotion.’ The Times has the full story.

And finally, recently-split-mock-rock-kidband Busted are being sued by an ex-band member over royalties. Owen Doyle, who formed part of the original band line-up before they became famous, is suing for a percentage of the profits from the band’s first album. Doyle claims he helped to write tracks including ‘What I go to school for’ and ‘Sleeping with the light on’. The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society ( has put a stop on royalty payments for the album until the matter is resolved. Hopefully they’ll have the money back before the year 3000.

Until next week…

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