The use of copyrights by the WWE ito prevent talent from taking a gimmick to another company is nothing new as they have done it for twent years. However, in the last few years, Many of the wrestlers don't get a trademarked gimmick, they just get a new name. They take a guy with a normal name like Fred Rosser and replace his name with something normal like Darren Young. In some cases they give a guy a less flashy name like Antonio Cesaro(Claudio Castagnoil is a much better name). The problem I have with it is that they use the background of the actual person to build up the character. For instance, they constantly mention Titus O'Neil's past as a Florida Gator football player. This is where the trademarking is shaky and could possibly be challenged in court as there isn't really a precedent for this. In movies and tv, they don't use the actors personal history for purposes of developing a new character. It doesn't matter if a wrestler agreed to this arrangement as terms in a contract deemed illegal by a court are thrown out.
I mention this now because I look at the guys under the masks of Aces and Eights that would benefit greatly if they could use the names they previously performed under(Masters, Knox, Gallows).
Also, the WWE has abused these copyrights before IMO. For example, I believe the Bubba and D-Von had a legit gripe over the Dudley trademark. The Dudley trademark was filed by the WWE after they left the WWE and it originated long before the WWE had anything to do with ECW. The law is clear. You can only trademark intellectual property that you create or purchase. Since the Dudley name was not protected at the time of the ECW sale, then it should belong to whoever had the greatest influence on its creation which certainly was not the WWE. The Ultimate Warrior eventually won the rights to his name minus use of the word ultimate I believe.
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