My kids are all under the age of 4, so I still have a few
years (I hope) before I have to worry about cell phone bills and incessant
texting. But if a Russian businessman has his way, I’ll have to be extra
vigilant about monitoring their texting.
Oleg Teterin, who owns a mobile ad company, has copyrighted
the winking emoticon–a semicolon followed by a parenthesis.
“Legal use will be possible after buying an annual
license from us,” he was quoted by the Russian newspaper Kommersant as
saying. “It won’t cost that much–tens of thousands of dollars.”
What a bargain.
Teterin insists he won’t crack down on individual users, but
rather corporations who aim to profit from the wink.
I know what you’re thinking. Why not copyright the letter
“s” while he’s at it?
And you’re right. Russian media reports doubt the man’s
copyright will hold under appeal. But you gotta give him props for trying,