What is Cocky Gate?

This has been interesting times for writers and readers alike. In April 2018, self published romance author Faleena Hopkins trademarked the word 'Cocky'. Yes you read that right, she trademarked a word. Now I have no issues with trademarking her brand, but to actually trademark a word. Like WTF? Believe it or not others have tried to trademark words such as 'Forever', but from my understanding have since removed it and apologized.

Now where this trademark becomes an issue, is that Faleena and her lawyers have made places like Amazon remove all titles that include the word 'Cocky'. This is affecting tons of authors past and present. Forcing them to change the title, and reformat their works, costing them hundreds of dollars. She has also started a lawsuit against a few indie authors. Many are now using the spelling ' Kah Key'. Now what many people don't know is that indie authors, well most authors don't make a ton of money. Authors write because they love it, they love to share their stories with others and bring them some sort of entertainment. They don't do it to get rich, because there are very few authors in the grand scheme that do get rich.

Most of you won't know this, but shortly after I came out with my YA paranormal romance 'The Embrace Series', another author came out with her 'Embrace Series'. Was i upset, hell yeah I was. I was published by a small independent publisher, she was published by a bigger publisher. We both had series by the same name in the same genre. Did I make a stink? NO, did she, no...she probably doesn't know a thing about my series. Why was I upset you may ask. Well because as I promoted my series, she was also promoting hers. I didn't want to be overshadowed by another series. After a few days I stopped pouting. Our readers were not going to get confused. Our readers might even cross over and be interested in each others work and lets face it unless you wrote Harry Potter or Star Wars other authors may have similar titles or series. It's just the way it is. So I moved on and the rest is history.

Now back to Faleena's lawsuit. I saw it last night, but for the life of me can't find it as I write this. So I will give you my interpretation of what I read. Basically what I got from it was that Faleena doesn't trust her readers to know the difference between her novels and other peoples novels. Yes, she appears to think her readers are not smart enough to read an authors name. Yes, readers can't read or maybe are not intelligent enough to figure it out on their own. You can come to your own conclusion as I have.   

Now back to how I feel about trademarking a WORD, yes a word. Well lets just say I have a sudden urge to write a book and use the word cocky in the title. It's a word for crying out loud. This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. It goes against free speech, it limits us all. Words are words and I have the right to use any word I choose. if words could be trademarked then why the heck didn't Webster's dictionary trademark every word in there? They could have made a killing because everytime a word was use, a payout would need to be given to Webster's. Are you following me on how ridiculous this really is?   

Okay well I have had my mini rant. now I want to commend another author. Suzan Tisdale has been very vocal about #cockygate. I applaud her for standing up for other authors, for saying what so many of us are afraid to say. She has even created a new word, "Chesticles" and from this a t-shirt. She is using the proceeds from sales to assist the indie authors that Faleena has sued with their legal costs to fight this trademark. If interested you can buy them by clicking HERE. To all those affected by this outlandish lawsuit, know we are here standing tall with you.

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