The Cocky Blog
Send me a cease and desist for this title. I dare you.
Once upon a time in Romancelandia, authors were minding their own business, writing away, when out of nowhere they received cease and desist letters from Faleena Hopkins over a trademark. She trademarked the word Cocky for use in romance series titles, as well as the specific font in which it’s written.
Problem 1: She didn’t have the right to issue a trademark on the font, per the font creator.
Problem 2: She didn’t have the right to send cease and desist letters to authors who published before her trademark became effective.
Problem 3: She didn’t have the right to ask authors to take down or retitle books with the word “Cocky” in the title if they were not series titles.
Some authors did as she said. Others’ books were forced from Amazon because she also sent the letter to them (as publisher), asking the books be removed if they were not retitled.
If you received one of the letters, please contact email@example.com. Per Romance Writers of America, she is gathering information from members and non-members alike.
For a full read-out, including links to legal articles on this incident, and the Twitter response from the font creator, see Courtney Milan’s thread on Twitter. Jenny Trout also covered it in her blog.
For a fun parody read, someone wrote this little gem in the time it took for this scandal to break: C*cky Author (and its sequel, C*cky Neighbor). Also, Jamila Jasper changed the title of her novel, Cocky Cowboy, to this.
Faleena won’t be sending me any letters. I searched for myself on Amazon today and I no longer have an Amazon author page (But here’s a link to the anthology – my poem has no mention of cocky, or cock. Rare, for me.). If you received a letter and want to post a guest blog about the process, please let me know.
Moral of the story: Trademarking a word is shady as fuck. May it burn more bridges for Faleena than it ever sells books.
Instead of tearing each other down, help your fellow authors. We’re all in this together, and no one author can satisfy all the readers in the world. Also, don’t treat your readers like they’re fucking morons. If your readers are unable to distinguish one Cocky book from another, you weren’t that important, anyway.
If you had to change your title due to #cockygate, please post buy links in the comments. Few people read this blog, but at least you’ll have me.