Romance writer in copyright war over use of the word 'cocky'
These romance writers are rough.
When they’re not spinning stories about passion and pain, or telling torrid tales about lies and deceit, these writers are at war with each other over the most trivial of details.
This time they’re fighting over the use of the word “cocky.”
Although the word is used in romance novels almost as often as “manhood,” or “love canal,” a California novelist has managed to secure exclusive use of the word “cocky” for her romance novel titles, and her jealous rivals are as enraged as a spurned spouse.
Faleena Hopkins, author of “Cocky Cowboy,” “Cocky Soldier,” “Cocky Biker” and “Cocky Brothers” insists she’s not being full of herself by cornering the market on cocky.
She says she’s just protecting her brand.
“I receive letters from readers who lost money thinking they bought my series,” Hopkins tweeted after the cocky copyright clash. “I’m protecting them and that’s what trademarks are meant for.”
But rival writers have struck back. In addition to launching the hashtags #cockygate and #freecocky, they are believed to be behind the growing number of dreaded one-star reviews Hopkins’ books have been receiving in recent weeks.
Industry insiders say the one-star strategy is a common backlash when authors get too … cocky.
Not that any would admit to stooping that low.
“If you want to kill time,” wrote one one-star reviewer on Amazon, “choose a kinder weapon!”
Self-published writer Jamila Jasper said she removed her book after she got a letter from Hopkins threatening to sue her over her cocky title.
“I have to admit I am intimidated because I don’t have many resources to fight this legally if she does pursue,” she wrote on Twitter.
The wrathful writers have enlisted the Romance Writers of America, a trade association, to weigh in on the dispute.
The group said it has reached out to an intellectual property attorney to help them resolve the issue.
In the meantime, more than 20,000 people have signed a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office asking it to cancel the “cocky” copyright.