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Maasai Planning On Trademarking Their Name

Maasai traditional jumping dance
photo: Bjorn Christian Torrissen
I'm going to go out on a limb here, but this ranks as the most ridiculous piece of Intellectual Property nonsense I've heard yet. And there's been some competition in that regards.

The Maasai tribe of Africa are seeking to trademark their name and image and pursue infringement notices against those currently using it in business.

That's just nonsense.

Can we now expect every other nation's people to begin trademark their own individual style and name. Can the Scottish demand payment every time the image of a Scotch Piper is used in marketing? The French a stripy Breton or beret?

Why stop at nations?

Why not allow regions or trades to do the same? Someone in a shell suit in your marketing or photograph? You'll have to make a royalty payment to the Liverpool Intellectual Property Collective. Slimy character with no morals? Make a cheque payable to the Used Car Sales Association.

I can understand individual Maasai people objecting to their image being used - or even being photographed. That's quite acceptable and should be a right that any person is able to assert.

But if I want to dress up models on my set as Maasai, Aborigine or even plain old City Gents no-one has the right to stop me doing so.