'Memphre': The Lake Memphremagog Monster

rynner2

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#1
'Memphre' name copyright?

This is a long article about a woman's attempt to copyright the name of an alleged monster in Lake Memphremagog, on the Vermont- Canada border.

Sometimes folk are stranger than monsters!

Story begins:
NEWPORT CITY VT- One woman's campaign for exclusive rights to Memphre, the illusive Lake Memphremagog sea monster, has chilled free speech around the lake.

Newport resident Barbara Malloy has told journalists, writers and historians they cannot write about Memphre and its history without her permission.

Her attorney has written warnings to businesses not to use Memphre in any way. The chamber of commerce was a target.

The whole affair has made the fanciful history of Beautiful Waters -- the native name for Lake Memphremagog -- a little murky.

Local Legend, Local Feud

Memphre is the latest name of the sea monster in Lake Memphremagog. It was first mentioned in The Stanstead (Quebec) Journal in 1847. Sightings of the hump-backed, four-finned, long-necked creature have been recorded by "dracontologists" on both sides of the border.

Memphre is pronounced "mem-free." Diver and historian Jacques Boisvert of Magog, Quebec, said he coined the name in 1986, giving Lake Memphremagog's serpent the name recognition that Nessie of Loch Ness, Scotland, and Champ of Lake Champlain enjoy.

Malloy and Boisvert collaborated to collect sightings about Memphre, until they had a falling-out in the 1990s.

Now, Malloy runs a Newport-based International Dracontology Society. Boisvert has a society by the same name in Quebec.

It would be up to a court to decide which group has the trademark right to use that name for unpaid dracontology research in Newport - if anyone thinks it's worth the cost to find out, said Thomas G. Field Jr., professor of law at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H.

Malloy claims a copyright to the name Memphre. While promoting her sightings and her society, she wants control of the idea, the research and what others write.

"I do not want you to write about it," she said Thursday. "Do not run a story about my Memphre, my copyright ... anymore."

Malloy would not comment further on the situation. Her attorney, Eric Benson of Burlington, could not be reached for comment despite repeated telephone messages this week.

Lawyers knowledgeable about intellectual property rights in the U.S. and Vermont say there's little Malloy could do to stop someone from opening a Memphre Carwash or selling Memphre Sandwiches. Neither would compete with her dracontology society.

In Magog, many businesses incorporate Memphre into their names, and they celebrate a tourist-oriented Memphre Day.

In the Burlington area there are Champ Chips, a Champ Carwash, and the Vermont Expos have a mascot called Champ, said Tom Shea, vice president for marketing of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Yet in Newport, except for a display by Malloy in the Emory Hebard State Office Building on Main Street, the name Memphre might as well not exist.
 

Timble2

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Something similar....

I remembered that a few years, back someone tried to copyright the name 'Nessie' for the Loch Ness monster.

I googled around and was delighted to find an 'Official' Loch Ness Monster Fan Club site which has the story:

http://www.lochness.co.uk/fan_club/news.html

YANKS BUY NESSIE FOR 0,000!

Only a week after it was revealed in government files that the Scottish Office wanted nothing to do with the Loch Ness Monster, her fans in Scotland were stunned to hear that the rights to the name ‘Nessie’ are being claimed by an American film production company. RLP Entertainments of Las Vegas claim to have copyright on the name of the famous Scottish monster.

The row over Nessie and the rights to her name started in late 1997 when RLP Entertainments created a web site on the internet to promote their forthcoming animated film "Nessie". When Gary Campbell, President of the Inverness based Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club and part of the Scottish ‘Nessie on the Net!’ web site heard of the claims, he contacted RLP to question their rights to the Scottish icon. "I pointed out that the name was in common usage and therefore could not be copyrighted by anyone . I also could not believe the gall of a US company in claiming that they owned the rights to our monster"

RLP replied by saying that they owned copyright on the name Nessie, with their legal department stating that to date "we have not legally pursued our right to have the use of the word, name or character ‘Nessie’, or as he is commonly known, the Loch Ness Monster, stopped as would be our right under copyright law".

When last night questioned further on this point, RLP spokesman Robert Leonard stated that they had bought the rights to Nessie for a "six figure plus sum" in the late 1980’s from Ken Anderson who worked as an animator for Walt Disney. Mr Anderson wrote a book "Nessie and the little Blind Boy" which is the basis for the film.

Gary replied " This is absurd, firstly they say they own the copyright on Nessie and the Loch Ness Monster, then it appears that they have effectively been taken in by another American to whom they paid a large sum of money. All this for something that has been in the public domain and owned by nobody for many years - it is like the yanks who were sold Tower Bridge in London by some fast talking con man!"

Veteran Nessie hunter Richard A. Carter of Yorkshire, who has searched for the Loch Ness monster for many years, confirmed that nobody can own the rights to the name ‘Nessie’. " The name originates from the gaelic "An Neasaidh", meaning female of the Ness, the anglified form of which is "Nessie". This has been in common use for hundreds of years in the Loch Ness area since the monster was first spotted in 565AD.

RLP also claimed that the name ‘Loch Ness Monster’ was first used by Franciscan Monks in the 1800’s who were trying to exorcise the monster from the loch.

Richard replied "the phrase ‘Loch Ness Monster’ which RLP are also supposedly laying claim to was coined by Evan Barron of the Inverness Courier newspaper in 1933, so I suppose it is Mr. Barron, if anyone, who could have sold the rights. Incidentally, the monks who live by Loch Ness are Benedictine, not Franciscan".

RLP have gone even further and started "The Official Nessie Fan Club" on the internet which has infuriated Gary Campbell. " Not only do they claim to own the rights to the name Nessie, but they have copied us, only changing "Loch Ness Monster" to "Nessie", a move which will only confuse genuine Nessie fans. This is typical of such a concern - they see what they think is a good idea and rip it off for their own benefit without regard to the fact that they are breaking the law by passing themselves off as us."

When asked about this, Mr. Leonard of RLP stated that he did not think that anybody would confuse the name "Nessie" with "Loch Ness Monster" and that their fan club only dealt with aspects of the forthcoming film and was not for "people wanting to sit by Loch Ness all day looking for a monster". He went on to say that they were currently attracting 10,000 new members a week which proved the success of the US web site.

Gary, who runs his club as a hobby and currently has 141 members, retorted " this is rubbish, firstly their legal department say that ‘Nessie’ and ‘Loch Ness Monster’ are one and the same, now their spokesman says they are not. Also, we do not just sit by the loch all day but carry out hi-tech research into the monster and its environs, something that those who think that RLP’s site is the real thing will unfortunately now never know about"
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
Here in Ohio (United States) one of the local universities tried to copyright the letter 'O' a few years back. That's their athletic logo, a capital letter 'O', and they were losing money on unlicensed apparel. IIRC, the whole thing ended in embarassment.

They've since altered the logo to include a little graphic perched atop the 'O'.
 

rynner2

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#5
Here's another version, from Canada, of the Memphre dispute.

And another from Toronto.
"I guess it's another international crisis," said Charles Catchpaugh, a resident of Magog, the slow-living resort town that shares the Quebec side of the lake that stretches into Vermont. "We're being told by an American not to use our monster's name any more."
Oh dear! War against Canada, anyone? :D
"It's made me stop using the name of our lake monster in my newspaper," said Catchpaugh, publisher of Magog's Outlet newspaper, which sends copies into Vermont, where U.S. copyright might apply. "I'm a small operator. I can't face a lawsuit over something that might not even exist."

One of only a few hundred people who have claimed to spot Memphre — usually described as an improbable creature between 5 and 15 metres long, perhaps with a horse-like head and multiple legs — Malloy sees herself as sole owner of the creature's name in the U.S., which she claims to have copyrighted in her country almost two decades ago.

"I own it on this side of the border — and I've had it for 18 years," she said in a testy interview from Vermont. "I don't have a problem down here. I think the problem is coming from your side of the border, up there in Canada."

She didn't want to discuss her legal argument.
 

oll_lewis

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#6
rynner said:
Oh dear! War against Canada, anyone? :D
but they don't have weapons of mass destr- oh hang on that dosen't matter, move along, nothing to see here ;)
 

rynner2

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Memphre Issue Holds Up Merger
NEWPORT CITY VT- The risk of a lawsuit over who gets to promote Memphre, the Lake Memphremagog sea serpent, is delaying the merger of two area chambers of commerce.

Vermont's North Country Chamber of Commerce, based in Newport City, had voted to merge with the Northeast Kingdom Chamber, based in St. Johnsbury.

The intent was to create a large enough business group with the clout to draw tourism to the Northeast Kingdom. But the threat of a lawsuit against the North Country Chamber over use of promotional material involving Memphre is slowing everything down.

"It did throw a wrench into the works," said Patrick Martell, president of Vermont's North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Barbara Malloy, a local resident who operates the International Dracontology Society of Newport City to collect information on Memphre, told the Newport City Chamber officials they could not put out pamphlets from a similar society based in Magog, Quebec, at the other end of the lake.

Malloy was one of a group of historians involved in publicity about Memphre in the 1980s. She says she has seen the sea serpent several times. But she and Magog enthusiasts parted ways, and now she claims exclusive rights to Memphre, threatening to sue the Magog group.

Martell said she told leaders of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber that she will sue them too if they merge with the Newport City Chamber.

Malloy had also threatened journalists, authors and historians with lawsuits, saying they could not write about Memphre or use the name without her permission.

The Caledonian-Record has written several stories about Memphre and the legal matters involved without receiving any letter of complaint or threat from Malloy or her attorney. Malloy had ordered the paper not to publish anything about "her Memphre."

While the U.S. Constitution bans attempts to limit free speech - and that includes legends like Memphre - the question remains whether anyone has an exclusive right to promote Memphre for profit in Newport City. Legal authorities have said that claiming to own the right to a public entity like a legendary sea monster would be questionable at best.

No lawsuits have been filed over the issue.

Malloy declined comment when contacted Friday, referring all questions to her attorney Eric Benson of Burlington. He did not return phone messages Friday.

In Magog the name is everywhere, part of the life and business on the shores of this lake.

On July 30, a Memphre village will be dedicated in Magog, with both Magog and Newport City dignitaries invited to help launch the 25th annual international swim on Lake Memphremagog.

The chamber merger was to be complete long before now.

"The real goal here is to protect both our organizations from this legal problem," Martell said, "to make sure we do it right."

In the meantime, Martell added, "both chambers' services are business as usual."

The Newport chamber is hosting a business summit Monday evening on local events. The merger timeline will be addressed briefly, Martell said, but the real issue is how to plan communitywide events.

Darcie McCann, executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, deferred all comments to Martell on the merger.

Duncan Kilmartin, attorney with Rexford and Kilmartin in Newport City, is representing the Newport City Chamber on the Memphre issue.

Kilmartin said he is working to find "the best way to proceed in the merger ... in view of the type of threats that Ms. Malloy has made."

He said he could not comment further on exactly what the threats were.
This MB will probably get sued next... :eek!!!!:
 

OneWingedBird

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#9
Surely you can only copyright something that you've created yourself and can prove that you've created it?

This is plain daft.
 
A

Anonymous

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#11
Why doesn't one society just change the name to its phonetic spelling? They do it all the time with the English language, don't they?

It's much easier to remember and will more than likely take over the original spelling due to sheer laziness over time. ;)
 

Melf

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#12
right ive copywrited the following names/words:-

martian(s), grays, bigfoot, yeti, sasquatch, lake/sea monsters, ufo(s)/uso(s), nde(s), oobe(s), abc(s), ghost(s), spirit(s), etc

and any other term(s)/word(s)/abbreviation(s)/derivition(s) used to describe any possible fortean event/incident

:D
 

PeniG

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#13
This woman is stupid, and her lawyer is stringing her along.

First, let's get the terms straight. "Copyright" refers to "the right granted by law to an author, composer, playwrgith, publisher or distributor of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work." Obviously this does not apply. (Though rights can be assigned and someone who had no part in the creation of a work can end up with the copyright; cf the assorted present ownership of the copyright of *Winnie the Pooh.*)

What she's looking for is a trademark, "a name, symbol, or other device identifying a product, officially registered and legally restrited to the use of the owner or manufacturer." Theoretically, she could convince/bribe/whatever a judge into granting her a trademark. The fact that Donald Trump tried to do that with his own name a few years ago and failed should give her pause - his resources for located venal and stupid judges were much greater than hers.

However - and this is where it all falls apart - even if she succeeds against all odds and reason - you can lose a trademark. If you don't vigorously and actively pursue violations of your trademark, under American law, you lose it. The word Aspirin is trademarked in Canada; in the US it's a common noun and absolutely anybody can put it on their vials of acetycylic acid, because the company that trademarked the name could not keep up with common usage. She may be counting on an income from filing nuisance suits against people who use the word, but only a minor cooperative effort is necessary to make it far more onerous for her to pursue the cases than it will be for businesses to defend them.

Most likely, though, the trademark will be refused, her lawyer will pay anyway, and she'll go on to some other absurd endeavor.
 

giantrobot1

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#14
Copyright is for artistic creations and similar material created by someone, and is an automatic right. You write a book - you own the copyright.

What we're talking about here is TRADEMARKS. From the Patent Office website:

A trade mark is any sign which can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. A sign includes, for example, words, logos, pictures, or a combination of these.

Basically, a trade mark is a badge of origin, used so that customers can recognise the product of a particular trader.
See: http://www.patent.gov.uk/tm/index.htm
 
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#15
This'll cause trouble ;)

Memphre in the Movies


Newport, Vermont - October 20, 2004

Vermont's most famous sea serpent, "Champ," has some competition. "Memphre," the Lake Memphremagog monster, is now in the movies.

A Montreal production company has created a one-hour satirical documentary that explores the myth surrounding Memphre. The film takes viewers on a humorous hunt for the legendary creature. It also explores a strange copyright battle involving the monster's name.

Lake Memphremagog is partially in Newport and partially in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Filmmakers called on locals from both sides of the border to help with the project.

"They said want to hunt for a monster," says Scott Wheeler, who appears in the documentary. "It took me about two seconds to say yes. I love history. This is part of history. Do I believe? No. But that's okay. A myth is part of the culture, as well."

The Legend of Memphre will debut on Canadian cable next week. It will then be shown at various film festivals on both sides of the border. The production company is also in negotiations with U.S. cable networks, like the Sci-Fi Channel.
http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=2458819&nav=4QcSSECM

October 21st, 2004

The Legend of Memphré

Monster madness
Isa Tousignant





Ari Cohen and Evan Beloff, the boys behind local documentary production house Diversus, like to dive headfirst into the subjects of their films and blur the line between the back and the front of the camera. The makers of the infamous Being Osama have led projects in past years like Schmelvis, a cross-America road-trip quest to prove Elvis's Jewish roots, and more recently Montreal Confidential, aired on Global TV not long ago, which followed the filmmakers' adventures with a team of 20-somethings on a cross-Quebec tour. The duo thrive on participation - no one could possibly accuse them of not being game.

Their new adventure comes in the form of a monster hunt. Ari Cohen set out with his team last summer to explore the myth of the Memphrémagog lake creature, dubbed Memphré. Supposedly born as a native folk tale in the late 18th century, designed in part to keep children away from the treacherous waters, the legend - our own local Loch Ness monster - has only grown with passing years. Over two hundred sightings of an approximately 30-foot-long, dark-coloured, humpbacked creature have been recorded to date, and locals of both Magog, Quebec, and Newport, Vermont - both of which give onto Lake Memphrémagog - have devoted their lives and careers to the myth.

Diversus's humorous adventure doc The Legend of Memphré follows Cohen as he squeezes into his wetsuit in a dedicated effort to meet Memphré. The team tracks down an impressive slew of specialists and eyewitnesses
both in Quebec and the U.S., including paranormal investigators, parapsychologists, psychics and crypto-dracontologists. Cohen's enthusiastic adventurousness and the interviews he conducts are by turns informative and hilarious, and uncover a fascinating area of Quebec history - one that turns out to be much more politically trepidacious than ever expected.


----------------
Catch The Legend of Memphré on the Space Network, October 27 at 10 p.m.
http://www.hour.ca/film/film.aspx?iIDArticle=4494
 

EnolaGaia

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#16
It doesn't appear that Malloy was able to retain exclusive rights to Memphre. In 2006 her former partner Boisvert died after making 'thousands' of dives in search of Memphre, and it was his family which unveiled the Canadian 25-cent commemorative Memphre coin ...

Quebec lake monster legend comes to life on coin
A legendary creature who's said to lurk at the bottom of a Quebec lake has suddenly re-surfaced – on the 25-cent piece. ...

Memphre has long been a local legend in Quebec's Eastern Townships; he's sort of the Loch Ness monster of the region. He is said to live on the bottom of picturesque Lake Memphremagog, a long, narrow lake that runs across the Quebec border into Vermont.

First Nations' legends from the area speak of mysterious monsters lurking in the lake, and over the years, dozens of locals have claimed to have spotted him. Official records begin in 1816 and reveal as many as eight sightings every year.

In modern times, witnesses have tried to capture the creature on video, with images showing something large swimming under the surface, causing big ripples on the water. But no one has never captured the monster itself.

Some believe Memphre could be a sea snake, like the more famous "Nessie" of Loch Ness, or Ogopogo ...

Others, like Patrick Corcoran have come up with their own explanations. Corcoran works for Tours Mempremagog, which offers boat tours of the lake to tourists in search of the creature. He thinks the snake is likely just a big fish.

"The fact that the lake is 360 feet deep in two sections, there's a good chance there is a large fish, because that's where it would be," he tells CTV. ...

The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a full-colour, oversized quarter that will feature Memphre as part of the mint's new "Mythical Creatures" series, which also features Canada's beloved ape-man, Sasquatch.

The Memphre coin was unveiled this past week by the family of renowned "dracontologist" and Memphre historian, Jacques Boisvert. Boivert died in 2006, but over his lifetime, he made as many as 7,000 dives in search of Memphre -- all to no avail.

His widow, Ginette Choquette, says Boisvert always kept an open mind about whether Memphre was real.

"He never said he believed, and he never said he didn't believe," Choquette told CTV News.
SALVAGED FROM: https://web.archive.org/web/2015100...monster-legend-comes-to-life-on-coin-1.680763
 
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