Trademark Trolls and the Cocky Rebellion (And yes, I’ll comment on the rant)


hello Beautifuls all right so we’ve got
another update this is going to be a lot of stuff I’m gonna try and get it out as
quickly as possible but it’s a lot you don’t like my kind of videos well you
know you can click off no one’s forcing you to be here anyway hit the intro I don’t do it by the book no I do my own thing that’s every single hook got em
singing like me and I ain’t in any rush cause I’m finally getting paid don’t
believe it any luck I believe I’m self made. I want to quickly bring up a quote that’s
mentioned a lot usually when there’s tragedies but they think it’s a good
thing to keep in mind in everyday life and that’s look to the heroes when I
first broke this story I didn’t think anybody was gonna pay attention it was
being whispered about in groups I figured that was gonna be as far as it
went unless somebody said something so I
said something on my tiny little channel which has grown a lot because people did
care people were willing to do something and thankfully because so many
people cared and spoke up about it we got ourselves a hero which is a mr.
Kevin Kneupper a lawyer who has taken this on even though he’s retired and
he’s an author now he decided that he wasn’t going to stand for this he not
only has put in a petition for cancellation he has recruited several
very very impressive New York lawyers who are going to be involved as well I’m
gonna link to his Twitter below so that he can explain this more himself you can
read how he broke all this down and both the lawyers because he talks about
them and I’m feeling very encouraged from a situation that looked really
really hopeless it’s now looking like we we’ve got a good chance the authors who
were getting threats of legal consequences for using a word that’s
been used in our genre for the forever they now have not only an entire
community on their side they’ve got some pretty impressive lawyers so this this
is good next up for positive things because that’s where I want to start is
the new hashtag this is how you indie I think I got that right I’m going to put
it here while I’m editing to make sure that you guys can find it basically it’s
a whole bunch of authors that are sharing books that they share the title
with or they’re just posting on their wall with the hashtag and inviting
authors to post links to the books and every time I see one of these I just I
smile and it just it feels like some really really good stuff has come out of
this and I think I think we need to look at that I think it helps us look at the
situation and know that all the time that many of us have spent researching
or we’ve spent talking about it or whatever that you personally are doing
towards a situation it is helping so much so everyone who’s spoken up
everyone who’s brought attention to this thank you so much as for Mr. Kevin
Kneupper since he’s an author and he is doing all this work for us I think that
you know buying his book and sharing his book and talking about his book is the
least we can do so I’m going to include a link to it as well go give that a one
click now for the thing that you guys were probably all here for though I am
NOT spending the entire video on it somebody likes attention very much and
there’s too much to discuss to waste much time on this I am gonna comment on
a few things that I found rather concerning so I got the video clips to
specific concerning things from a youtuber called Mistress of Reads I’m
going to link her up and put a card up there so that you can go subscribe to
her channel she also covered this story and the author Nancy C Walker linked me
up with some screenshots I’m going to be honest I tried watching that video I was
going to transcribe the whole thing but there’s only so much that I’m even
willing to go through I’m really sorry but if you want to see somebody who did
watch the whole thing and comment on it Jenny Trout did I’m actually gonna be
including a screen shot to some of her comments and response to one of these
clips let’s start with the first one my
readers have written to me and they’re like I wrote to this author and I told
her you’re calling us stupid my children are autistic autism is constantly called
stupid you’re insulting me that word stupid is just not right I need you to
stop saying that we’re not stupid because we’re supporting an author we
love who’s whose books have helped us or have it entertained us you’re not even
helped us let’s just go with entertained isn’t entertained enough ? I’m gonna
mention two points here that I find troubling sometimes our readers might
contact us with concerns or questions we don’t need to blast them all over social
media as an excuse to something that we’re doing and I’ve noticed that our
trademark troll-and I’m gonna explain why I’m calling her that later-why she
keeps doing that every time that she does something she uses her readers as
an excuse I think it would have been a better idea to speak with the reader
reassure them but not throw them under the bus and that’s what this looks like
I have family members as many of us do who are autistic and when somebody says
stupid those two never they don’t come together in my head because I don’t
consider autistic people stupid when I see people use the word stupid usually
I’m thinking they’re either using it as this person lacks common sense or
something they did wasn’t very smart it’s really that simple some people
might not like the word and I get that but to equate it with autism in that way
I found that pretty disgusting and maybe that’s one of the reasons why
she deleted the video but the Internet’s forever and these are thoughts that she
clearly had so I think we have every right to discuss them and correct these
these ideas we weren’t even saying someone was being
stupid but many of us were saying that she acts like her readers must be too
stupid to read her name on a book autism wasn’t brought into it by anybody else
until she discussed it with a reader and then decided to blast it authors don’t
do that please don’t do that next point is this one and it’s yeah oh and by the
way for those people who are calling me KKK or bullshit like that I’m a
descendant of a slave so think again I don’t know who would say that she was
part of the KKK or I don’t know I don’t honestly believe anyone said that I
don’t know why it occurred to her to bring this up
I’m going to post something Jenny trout said and read it to you because I think
she covers it much better than than I could because I’m dumbfounded I am the
descendant of a slave what did you just fucking this woman has targeted mostly
authors of color from what people have told me now she’s saying no one can
attack her because she is the descendant of a slave I just thought maybe some of
the people who are criticizing you might also be descendants of slaves and maybe
slavery has bull and fucking shit to do with why we’re angry at you I couldn’t
just said it better myself which is why I quoted Jenny and seriously I’m going to
link to her recap of this whole thing go check it out it covers it very well now
this last point and then we’re gonna move on this trademark only affects
authors who had one book out of a huge backlog only so that I could protect my brand I think that somebody needs to sit down with our trademark troll and explain to
her what branding is claiming a word isn’t branding these other authors have
just as much of a right to it as you did and the fact that it’s on a single book
so you used it as a series so that gives you more no that’s not how this
works branding is going to be your winning
personality branding is going to be your logo as
branding is going to be your style your your voice these things are branding
these things are what is going to have readers remembering you claiming a word
that’s that’s not branding and the dismissive attitude towards the other
authors is disgusting after all those clips
of our trademark troll I just wanted to share a little bit of Facebook live that
an author Elizabeth York did because I love the
sound of her voice and the passion that she showed and some of the things that
she said I just I thought were worth sharing I’m gonna share the link for the
whole thing down below so make sure to check that out it it made me laugh and
smile and you might enjoy it too the consensus was that I wasn’t gonna go
live I wasn’t gonna make a bigger deal out of the stuff that’s going on but I
done had about enough with this cowardly bullshit I said it frame it record it
whatever the hell you need to do with it that’s what it is you go online and you
say hey come at me come talk to me if you’re not afraid so I do but you ignore
me then I pin you a message in public because obviously we can’t have a
conversation behind closed doors and then you still can’t answer that but I
can see a message were you called out an author and you had the nerve to act like
you are better than everybody else to act like you gained some kind of status
like you should be the next princess of England because you bought a word
congratulations you bought a word now I know the cheese is probably sliding off
my cracker right about now but when I read that you had the nerve to tell some
author why didn’t you message me in private if you have questions woman I’ve
posted them publicly lots of people have posted them publicly everybody has asked
and you don’t answer but don’t you think you owe it not only to your readers but
to the authors to answer the questions and these things like you say that it’s
so easy to retitle woman I’ve seen the screenshot when you apologize to
everybody because you didn’t know the difference between a soldier and a
marine as an army wife I do by the way take offense to that because
that should have been something that popped up and
any Google search but you said that you couldn’t change the title because it was
too much work or whatever honey if it was too much work for you what the hell
do you think everybody else in Facebook land in the author community is supposed
to do if it’s too hard for you then don’t you think it’s a little hard for
them I swear on God’s green earth none of us are going to understand it and so
you come down on a level where you are equal with us and you say hey this is
why I did this and you can’t sit there and finger point out one author and say
I punished you all because of this author you cannot do that because we
aren’t in kindergarten the best analogy I’ve heard about it yet with last night
on the podcast we are not in kindergarten you cannot put us all in
timeout because one kid threw a crayon at you you know you’re up you’re down
you’re there it’s a freaking one-woman circus and I don’t know where I got that
but I’ve heard that somewhere before moving onto another author I’m connected
with Scarlett Parrish she has a theory which I think does explain a lot she
thinks that possibly in the group that our trademarked troll was in there was a
discussion about using the cocky series and when the other author brought it up
well now all of a sudden she decided that she needed to protest it this is
possible I also think part of the reason why this would have been such a huge
deal and would have needed to be dealt with so quickly is because if you were
searching cocky on its own you’re probably gonna see the cocky bastard
first now if somebody is writing books with their title being cocky for each
book they’re probably going to dominate that search term so under a highly
searched book by a very popular team of authors under their book is going to be
this book that’s on KU that apparently gets a lot of borrows and
people are gonna see that and keep grabbing the books which okay cool I
mean that’s not the way I would do it but props it’s… it’s a plan now if
another author makes a series that’s called the Cocky series that might end up
showing up under the cocky bastards more often than the cocky soldier marine
wait yeah the the cocky marine and the cocky I don’t know I didn’t memorize all
the book covers but they would show up first on the list somebody else naming
their series cocky serious what’s shown up first so she made a claim for it not
a very good claim and she shouldn’t have been able to do it there’s the
possibility that she lied on the PTO which Kevin you’ve heard discusses
more on his thread so look into that which might be an issue
when this is contested that’s another issue and we’re gonna move on from that
there’s a concern right now with some people that talking about her and
mentioning her books and showing her picture and all this stuff is boosting
her up and giving her more sales this is possible but if you look on Amazon you
will see that where is at the beginning of the week before all this broke she
was ranking in the top 100 authors in her genre she’s no longer ranking there
so besides the fact that this information needs to be out there to
make sure that we have the people in place to make sure that readers know
what’s going on to make sure that nobody tries us again with a concern that this
is helping her sell more books I don’t think that that’s important enough to to
worry about so if you don’t feel like talking about it anymore for your own
reasons then by all means stop talking about it but don’t do it because you
were afraid oh well she make it a sale from this she’s might I don’t think
she’s getting enough sales from us talking about it to make a stop alright
so how does rebellion gate fit into this well as of recording there was an update
and the CEO of the I think it’s a rebellion gaming company has agreed to
contact the agent that applied for the trademark and have them limit the amount
of things that the trademark will cover because I’m just gonna show this really
quickly these are all the things that would they
was going to cover that’s a lot and it included
romance novels thankfully we were able to catch this and mr. Kevin Kneupper was
right on it so he saw that and he is like a force of nature when he goes
after something I can’t imagine being against him on trial I would not be in
that position for anything so he was immediately on that there was a lot of
tweeting back and forth you can also see that on his timeline and he basically
seems to have convinced the CEO that the overreaching trademark of a single word
was a bad idea so all the authors that have rebellion
in their title I wouldn’t worry yet but stay vigilant still and many people have
suggested this so it is very very good advice we have until the 15th for this
trade market to be taken down or amended or there are other words constantly that
people are trying to trademark there is something called cocky bot which watches
trademarks for the one month community the person who created it also asked if
they should cover other fiction genres genres and I think that would be amazing
maybe not everybody wants to see all that but if a few of us are following it
and catch a single word in the dictionary that is gonna you know impact
not only us but any other genre bringing it to the attention of a lawyer like
Kevin who he seems ready to take on any trademark troll something like that I
mean it’s it’s going to avoid problems like this one of the things that are
really respected that Kevin said is don’t leave anybody behind don’t don’t
figure that some you know somebody could come in with a lot of
money and pick on… they don’t have the money to fight so all right we’re just
gonna pick them off and it’s not a big deal
that is what trademark trolls seem to do especially when they start targeting
something like romance novels or fiction they do it in the gaming community they
do it a lot in craft beer that ended up being a huge issue that you should
probably look into I was reading up on that as I was doing all the research for
this video and I was like this is insane and it’s something that could end up
becoming a huge issue for our industry if we just to sit back and figure okay
it doesn’t matter it’s it’s not my problem it will be your problem if it
ends up being a word that’s on your book cover there is a youtuber the self pub
channel and he did an interview with Kevin which was really good I watched
that I’m gonna link that below for you to check out his name is Dale L Roberts
and he mentioned the possibility and it might sound far-fetched but think about
it of one day so many words are trademarked that people just start using numbers for
titles I mean that would be ridiculous it would be stupid and how good is that
gonna look on your cover I mean sometimes numbers for titles work
but if all of us had to do that because we were afraid that we wouldn’t have the
money to fight whoever decided hey I’ve got you know a thousand bucks to kill
I’m gonna grab this word this situation could end up being anybody with money is
going to dominate the industry back to rebel gate some people were thinking
that it was connected that our romance trademark troll was connected to this
gaming trademark I’ll call him person for now because I’m
reserving judgment to see if they’re actually going to follow through with
limiting what their trademark covers and whether or not they’re going to use it
in a predatory way they have sued people in the past for using the word so I’m I
don’t know I’m hesitant but I’m not looking at it on the same level as cocky
yet cocky game right now is the priority because of the fact that the trademark
was already issued and can be and has been used to take books down it was used
with Amazon Amazon has since then decided after speaking with rwa here I’m
gonna post the screenshot they’ve decided to stop pulling books
that doesn’t mean that they’re gonna continue doing that a stern letter from
a lawyer saying well she has this trademark it might change their mind this
is an ongoing situation this is a developing situation and it’s not in the
same position where you could just send it in a protest within the first 30 days
and have it taken down or have somebody just relinquish their request for it
this is past so unless she’s gonna have an epiphany and say you know what you
guys are right and I’ve listened to everything you have to say not gonna
happen and I’m going to you know stop this whole thing I don’t see that
happening this is probably going to end up either the PTO is going to make a
decision on it or it’s going to end up in court that’s the reality of the
situation rebellion gate situation is not at that
point yet so while we should be vigilant I don’t think comparing the situation’s
at this point is helpful so to be specific about what a trademark troll is
I’m going to include this right here and this is from the intellectual property
magazine discussing trademark trolls and there are three main types basically and
I highlighted number three just to show how this applies to our situation those
who registered trademarks and actually use them but seek to enforce the marks
more widely than is legitimate in this case it would be how there are cease and
desist letters going out to authors whose books would not
be targeted by the initial trademark which i think you can see where that has
happened so that is why I am using this term because it applies there is also a
pretty big youtuber who covered this he has over a hundred thousand subscribers
his name is MundaneMatt and he covered this so I’m going to link that up below
but worth is definitely spreading and there is some awesome coverage of this
so if you don’t know much about it and you want to learn more there’s plenty of
information out there the fact that it’s spreading to other genres that as fact
that it’s being talked about in the gaming community is encouraging
trademark trolls need to be something that we’re more aware of and that we’re
able to take the steps that we need to stop them and I don’t think that the
Romance community has ever dealt with it to this extent I’m pretty sure it’s it’s
happened but little things it was mention of one of the publishers
and I’m not going to get into that but they had trademarked
a word I don’t think that they’re using it in a predatory way but there’s still
that concern the second that somebody gets a trademark on a word they can use
it and it’s that’s a very dangerous
precedent also I want to share something that I was very very proud of
I created a shirt called I survived cocky gate 2018 I bought the
same font that was used on the covers of the trademark troll in question and I
decided that just to have something good come out of this I was going to make
sure that all the proceeds were donated to Mercy for Animals here’s the mug and
the shirt and so far we have raised over one hundred and twenty dollars for the
charity so that was really cool and it’s still ongoing so if you want to grab a
shirt check in the description the link is gonna be there I also want to give a
shout out Mistress of Reads again she has a
YouTube channel so make sure to check her out she gave me all the clips so
that I can go through them and see what I wanted to cover here and Nancy C
Walker who gave me the screenshots that she took with the closed captioning so
that you could see what was being said I didn’t want anybody to think that this
was manipulated anyway these are comments on the author’s own words I
think I’ve covered everything at this point if you have any more questions
comments whatever I leave them down below last but not least before I forget
oh yeah like subscribe ring that little bell and I’ll see you in the next video

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

13 thoughts on “Trademark Trolls and the Cocky Rebellion (And yes, I’ll comment on the rant)

  1. That "KKK" part… I don't think anyone ever called her the KKK. I watched the Facebook live video and you know how you can see the comments rolling up your screen? I didn't see anyone say anything like that. I do know that sometimes people will respond with a bunch of k's to describe laughter. More than likely, if anyone commented that which I didn't see, they were laughing at her attempts to look like a victim. That's what I think that was, but I don't know for sure ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ She was just a hot mess in that video

  2. Yup, Kevin is swinging a HUGE Lawyer cock. Very cool true. Yup, they do that in tech. It's why they all have gobbly goop names.

  3. Thank you so much for the shout-out around the 22:00 mark. I tend to think in hyperboles to illustrate the direction of ridiculous actions. Iโ€™m glad you got it ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ keep up the great work.

  4. Nicely done. I found yours after I finished my open letter to Faleena, and I really appreciated your perspective. You and others speaking up on Twitter helped bring this into the larger attention. Yours and Sasha White's videos were great to watch. I'm enjoying listening to y'all while I'm organizing and working.

    I am so glad that cocky gate has been caught. I am optimistic that it will be overturned if she doesn't relinquish it.

    It's been great to get to to meet the indie romance community through this. All the best to you!

  5. Oh also I do agree on the cost benefit analysis. A few people tried to discourage me from speaking out against her to avoid giving her attention and advertisements. But in this case, I believe that the issue itself was serious enough to require action rather than ignoring it.

  6. Thank you for doing the work and keeping us updated. I particularly agree on 2 of your points, remain vigilant and talking about her is keeping people away from her not drawing them to here.

  7. Hi Bianca, do you think authors should trademark their series titles in future? Thanks for the video. This whole thing is deeply concerning.

  8. Bianca, I saw on the @cockybot that "embrace" has been TM'd as well – for all of Romance. Do you know if anyone is addressing this?

    Here's the registration certificate, granted April 10, 2018:
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn87344860#docIndex=0&page=1

    (I just realized this could be the instance to which you refer at around 26 minutes in.)

  9. Thank you for helping start this avalanche of support for indie authors! Love the #thishowyouindie hashtag. This affects all of us. What this trademark troll doesn't get is that, while she might be a household name for now…it won't be long before #faleenawho? is more common. She's trying to use a gimmick to get a lot of attention fast, and doing a lot of harm in the process. In a year, she's just going to be a footnote filed under "Authors who flamed out."

    In the meantime, awesome folks like you, Sasha White, Kevin Kneupper, Jenny Trout and so many more are still gonna be kicking ass and being awesome. Thanks so much for doing what you do, Bianca. You're an inspiration!

  10. First of all, thanks for making people aware of this. Because if no one knew, a lot of lovely self-published authors would be out lost revenue and readers due to one woman's greed. Second of all – even though I'm not a romance reader, I LOVE how the romance community (both readers and writers) have come together to support each other. That is TRUE love and light. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *