An anti-vaxxer activist who eats raw chicken has weirdly claimed ownership of the copyright to actress Isabel Lucas’ name, claiming that anyone who tries to use it pays him $500,000.
In an email to media organizations, Tom Barnett, who is best known for his failed bid for mayor of Byron Bay, claimed they must now obtain his permission to use the ex-Home and Away star’s name.
‘If you wish to use the name, words, phrase or any derivative of and by any definition of, “Isabel Lucas”, you must first ask permission from the copyright holder Tom Barnett,’ the email read.
He said those using “the name Isabel Lucas… agree to pay Tom Barnett AUD$500,000 per use”.’
Mr Barnett made news when he stated it was “impossible” to catch the Covid virus at the outset of the pandemic in 2020.
Ms Lucas, 37, has spoken out against the Covid-19 vaccination, claiming to be “pro-choice” and opposed to vaccine requirements.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Barnett’s attempt to claim copyright on the actress’ name was doomed to fail.
Professor Kimberlee Weatherall of the University of Sydney believes Mr Barnett may have confused copyright ownership with trademark ownership.
She said that even if he had registered a trademark, that didn’t give him the right to sue every time her name was mentioned.
‘[It] does not give you a right to prevent descriptive use of the word, otherwise, we could never talk about Coca-Cola,’ she said.
A trademark, she explained, only covered products and services.
Mr Barnett’s attempt to become mayor of Byron Bay was thwarted in November when he failed to register in time for the local election.
On November 1, he announced his intention to compete for mayor of the well-known NSW tourist town, using the slogan “sack the status quo.”
Mr. Barnett supports eating raw chicken and stated in a weird viral video at the outset of the Covid outbreak last year that it was impossible to catch a virus.
Mr Barnett enraged parents in Byron Bay by spreading his anti-Covid vaccination ideas outside a local high school after falling out on the mayoralty.
Mr Barnett was chastised online by Luke Jolly, who sends two of his children to Byron Bay High.
‘Leave the kids alone’ – yet there you are trying to influence them, isn’t that a tad hypocritical?’ he posted online in reference to one of Mr Barnett’s signs.
‘Schools are a safe haven, or sacred space; they are not the place to impose a political message on the children of others.’
Mr Barnett and Ms Lucas have been approached by the Daily Mail Australia for comment.