early and often

A Second Obama Plagiarism Scandal?


Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday we pondered whether Barack Obama’s speechwriters lifted a line from a Robin Williams movie. Is that what he meant when he talked about “harnessing ingenuity”?, we wondered. Now Scarsdale teenager Stefan Doyno is accusing the senator of appropriating one of his lines. “Change Rocks,” a phrase the Obama campaign is using as the title for a series of fund-raising concerts, also happens to be the name of Doyno’s fledgling company, which sells rings with removable stones. “If the concert clothing has ‘Change Rocks’ on it and I’m doing clothing with ‘Change Rocks’ on it, then that’s infringement,” Doyno told the AP. Accordingly, his lawyer has sent a letter to Obama’s office. But, this country being the wonderful land of opportunity that it is, they’re not asking the candidate to cease and desist. Rather, they’re proposing a partnership. Quoth the letter: “Mr. Doyno would be more than willing to grant Mr. Obama a license on quite favorable terms to use the Change Rocks trademark in connection with products other than jewelry. Mr. Doyno is far more interested in exploring possible synergies … than he is in preventing Mr. Obama from using the mark in connection with his campaign.” Now that’s an audacious hope!

Teen owner of `Change Rocks’ trademark invites deal with Obama [Newsday]
Earlier: The Audacity of Obama’s Speechwriters

A Second Obama Plagiarism Scandal?