Faleena Hopkins is trying to Cock Block the word “Cocky” in romance novels

As you may or may not have heard there is a huge debacle going on right now surrounding the word “Cocky.”

Basically, author Faleena Hopkins has copyrighted the word “Cocky” in romance novel titles, and she is trying to get everyone to change the title of their books if it contains the word “Cocky.”  She is using scare tactics and threatening legal action if they don’t.  If this sound ridiculous to you, I can assure you it is!*

* Disclaimer: I have absolutely no background in either writing a novel or legal stuff, so everything I am writing here I learned from googling the issue for 20 minutes.

I first became aware of this issue through the Facebook page Beware, book boyfriends alert!.  One of the Admin’s posted a link to the petition so you could help try and get the copyright reversed.

When googling the issue I found this great article by Kayleigh @ Pajiba.  You should go check it out, she gathered a ton of information and it was really helpful!  You should also think about signing the petition!

I am going to keep this post short because I am not including any interesting pictures or anything, but this whole thing really pisses me off! Why does she get to copyright a word?!?! And why does she get to bully authors, whose books came out BEFORE hers, into changing their titles?!?! That is seriously messed up!  Go read Kayleigh’s article.  Or look up #cockygate on twitter.  The nerve of this lady is baffling and she sounds pretty awful! Please consider signing the petition!  We need to stop this! It is a slippery slope, for all genres and I really hope she doesn’t get away with it!

Urg! This makes me angry! What do you think? Am I missing something?

 

33 Comments

  1. I’d suggest you don’t even give her name in your post title as that just brings her attention. Utter ridiculousness! Writers should be supporting one another not tearing them down to promote themselves.

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    1. Hmmm thats a good point, but I have a feeling a lot of people will start boycotting her work because of this, so it might be a good thing to spread her name around. And it is ridiculous!!! I agree, publishing a book is hard enough without other people trying to sabotage you!

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      1. I am glad that this is getting so much publicity because I know a lot of the authors she is targeting don’t have the legal resources to fight back on their own, so its awesome that they are all banding together and there are a couple lawyers that are stepping up and helping out!

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  2. Wow. I would not have thought you could trademark a specific word. The only thing I know about copyright however is they turned Kylie Jenner down when she wanted to copyright her name. This author definitely is making herself any friends.

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    1. Ha! I didn’t know she did that! Its a good thing she wasn’t successful! I don’t think you are supposed to be able to trademark a single word, I don’t know what happened but the whole thing seems off! And no, reading on Twitter people are furious with her and she keeps diffing her hole deeper!

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  3. I was reading this drama on Twitter the other day, and was absolutely gobsmacked. Definitely seems to me like this author is attempting to capitalized on a commonly used word in order to make money in the future. From what I understand, there are already numerous appeals against it and it’s likely to be overturned with quick measure, which is a good thing.

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  4. Hi Brittany thank you for posting here too! As Bentley here above said I am gobsmacked too! I hope she gets overturned soon enough.

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  5. The best thing that can happen is people stop reading her just ok books. She’s making a real bad name for herself and I personally won’t ever read her again.

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  6. I’ve been following this, too, and it’s just nuts! I know that an indie author who is also a lawyer has filed an appeal to get it removed and also that the RWA has been in contact with Amazon to ask them to stop removing titles. What’s really entertaining is to go look at this author’s tweets about it. No shame! I’ve also read stuff (just comments I’ve read, don’t know if they’re actually true) that she’s said that other authors who used the same stock photos for covers as she did or used the same character name were trying to capitalize off of her. She really is pretty cocky haha.

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    1. Its ridiculous! I have seen a lot of screenshots of her tweets and emails but I haven’t looked at her account specifically. The one that I saw that bugged me was where she is shown saying that the other Authors should just change the titles of their books and its easy and they get to keep all their reviews and money and nothing is lost. But then she has an “apology” that she made to Marines because she wrote them as calling themselves soldiers and was corrected by a Marine saying they never call themselves “soldiers” Her “apology” consisted of her explaining why it was too hard to change the title but that she would change it inside the book! She is such a hypocrite!

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    1. Based on the article I read, you aren’t supposed to be able to. You can copyright the word in conjunction with a font, but not the word itself? But I have like -5 legal skills so I have no idea, but it seems so wrong!

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  7. Usually, there is a grandfather rule that protects. Personally, I don’t think the copyright should have ever gone through. This feels like the whole Harley-Davidson trying to copyright the sound ‘vroom’ their motorcycles make. Just frustrating how petty people/companies can be.

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    1. Yea the whole thing is weird to me. And from what it sounds like the copyright is missing a lot of stuff it normally would have had to be legitimate. It makes me wonder how she got it in the first place! And I hope it gets overturned quickly! I didn’t know that Harley tried to do that, that is ridiculous!

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  8. I saw this on Twitter yesterday and was wondering what was going on!

    As of right now an attorney has filed to get the trademark revoked (as is said on the bottom of the petition page) so that’s good. But really, it’s absolutely ridiculous. No one should be able to tradmark a word that has been used for YEARS. And then trying to get authors to change their titles? Ugh. It’s like someone in the YA community suddenly trademarking “the” 🙄

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    1. I heard that the RWA (Romance Writers of America) has also been in contact with Amazon and asked them to hold off on pulling titles that are in breach of this “trademark” until it is all settled out. It is good that there are people working against the trademark and its awesome to watch everyone come together! I agree it is absolutely ridiculous!

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  9. I normally don’t know or care much about the book world drama, but I’ve been keeping up with this one on Twitter and reading the posts about it because it’s just so ridiculous. But honestly I’ve known too many people with her kind of logic to even be surprised. But it does aggravate me that she’s attacking authors and then has the audacity to act like the victim. I’m glad people are fighting back.

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  10. From what I’ve seen in regards to this issue, her copyright/trademark is for the word cocky in the font she uses on her covers, but she is using bullying and threats and scare tactics to get people to change titles and all of that.

    Whatever the exact details, the situation is completely ridiculous. And if a word like cocky could actually be copyrighted in that way, it shouldn’t be by somebody who only started publishing in the last couple years, when countless other authors have used the word cocky in titles pretty much through the history of romance stories.

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    1. Exactly! If nothing else she shouldn’t be allowed to force people to change their title if they wrote their books before she did! Its so incredibly ridiculous! If anyone could copyright it, you would think it would be the first person to use it! Which probably happened so long ago that it wouldn’t even be in copyright anymore!

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