Romancelandia (or the writing world of Romance novels) has its share of drama. So much drama. I'm fairly new to the Author corner of Twitter, 3 years I think, and it seems like in the last year things have completely blown up. For a while, there would be something posted that had the feel of someone whining about a slight or a perceived slight. But as more and more people took notice and started sharing their stories, relieved that they weren't the only one or had imagined it, things have come to light of people misusing power or cheating the system in various ways.
A fair share of it isn't really of interest to the readers (although they may be affected without even realizing it) but there is something going on now that has far-reaching repercussions. An author is trying to trademark the word Cocky. On Twitter, this is referred to as #cockygate. At first glance, it deserves a snicker. Cocky? Really? But do a search for books with the word cocky in the title and it suddenly isn't so funny. Because after this became public, other people began to apply for trademarks on other common words. If this continues, even Bloggers (and you know who you are!) may start to be affected.
“All genres — whether it’s romance, mystery, thriller, SFF — repeat words in their titles and series names, especially as they apply to tropes that can help readers quickly identify what type of story they’re picking up,” said RWA spokesperson Jessie Edwards in an email to Vox. “Using these words is not unique and should not be proprietary.”
from Cockygate explained
I'm not going to go into all the details here--if you're interested, you can check out the article I've linked. It's a few weeks old now and the first trial date was this past Friday. An author bought the transcript and has posted it for anyone interested. I've read bits and pieces and I have to give kudos to the Judge. Rather no-nonsense, but you get the feeling he has a sense of humor. One has to wonder what he thinks of it all.
I'm sharing this because it's something that is slipping through the cracks. It seems so minor, the trademark of a single word. But really, it feels like a symptom of the times. I think everyone is going crazy!