I'm not a fan of urban hip-hop music, nor of professional wrestling, so it's no surprise I'm only slightly familiar with rapper Jay-Z, or that I've never heard of pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page before now.
Jay-Z, CEO and president of Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella recording companies as well as part-owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA basketball team, has recently heard from wrestler-turned-actor Page, though, through his attorneys, according to MTV News. Page is claiming that Jay-Z has misappropriated and used improperly Page's "trademarked" hand gesture, and is suing over trademark and copyright infringement.
Page, a pro wrestler since 1991, apparently uses as part of his stage persona a hand gesture that consists of putting his hands together into the shape of a diamond or triangle, touching his thumbs together and his index fingers together. The gesture, which Page calls the "Diamond Cutter," looks to me like what I've seen dozens of stage magicians do at one time or another.
What got my attention in an article about the case on the Memphis Rap website was this line: "The symbol is most common amongst the Freemasonry fraternity and other groups."
Anyone seen this symbol in a lodge? And if so, then can Masons claim that Diamond Dallas Page and Jay-Z are both misusing a Freemasonic trademark? What about all those other Masonic due guards, signs and symbols? Someone somewhere is bound to be using them, accidentally or purposefully, improperly. Can we claim trademark rights to the Eye in the Pyramid on the back of dollar bills? How about the very name "Freemasons," now used by an electronica/house music act from England?
Trademark lawsuits and licensing agreements could become goldmines for small lodges looking for new income streams. It would sure beat sitting up all night making barbecue to sell as a fundraiser.
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