The producers of “Game of Thrones” threatened to sue a 13-year-old girl for using the phrase “winter is coming” in art work she had uploaded to the internet and shared on social media. The producers of “Game of Thrones” argue that the phrase is central to the series and they own the rights to it.
On the face of it this is a worrying development. Copyright is there to protect the intellectual property of creatives (authors, painters, poets etc). It plays a vital role in ensuring the creator of content gains the credit for their creations and any monies that may be generated. However the phrase “winter is coming” has been around long before “Game of Thrones” was ever thought of. As someone with no legal background I find it difficult to comprehend how a phrase which has been used for centuries can be construed as belonging to any one individual or entity. I once used the sentence “autumn has come in all her beauty”. Can I now argue that the phrase belongs to me? I have no intention of doing so. I could however (invoking the logic which seems to be being employed above) threaten to take legal action against anyone who utilises the phrase “autumn has come in all her beauty”, unless, of course someone else used it prior to me doing so!
As always I would be interested in my readers views. For the article please visit HERE