Here in Cow Hampshire, we have our share of cranks, whackjobs, fruit loops, and (dare I say it) asshats. There’s something about the rural environs that seems to breed them.
One in particular is a “gentleman” (and I use the term as loosely as he is wrapped) who goes by the name of Ghislain Breton. Mr. Breton has long been a critic and opponent of the legal system here in Cow Hampshire, apparently driven off the deep end by a bitter custody battle over his daughters. As a retaliatory move against legal filings against him, Mr. Breton had the stroke of genius to copyright his name and demand $500,000 from anyone who used it without his permission. (If this asshat had the slightest hint of a case, at this point Kevin would owe him $1,500,000.)
By a quirk of the law here in New Hampshire, anyone can file a lien on anyone else’s property without a judge’s approval. It’s a favored tactic of anti-government activists — to punish officials in their private lives for their public actions. Mr. Breton, on the strength of his copyright notice, filed liens on several people involved in his divorce case for having the gall to use his name without his permission in such frivolous, defamatory, and exploitative fashion as in writing him letters about child support, filing complaints in court, and so on. This screwed up one woman’s attempt to sell her house, and another’s college loan on behalf of her child.
I’m no lawyer, but I’ve had to deal with copyright law on quite a few occasions. Two flaws immediately stick out in my mind — first, the way Mr. Breton is using his “copyright” on his name is more in line with a trade mark, not an actual copyright. Second, every single instance I’ve come across where he has protested has fallen under the “fair use” doctrine. Otherwise, no one would dare ever print a negative story about any business — simply mentioning their name in a defamatory context would be actionable. Hell, Enron would still be solvent if they could’ve sued every single person or group that criticized them by name.
Mr. Breton is currently serving 18 months for harassment, and is looking at another seven years. He’s been told he can go free if he’ll simply promise to stop harassing people with these frivolous loans, but he won’t.
I’m personally offended that this dipshit is sucking up MY taxes to support his pathetic ass in jail, but I agree that he’s a menace to society if allowed to go free. Is it time to institute some new form of punishment for this sort of non-violent, yet destructive offender? Something along the lines of “Mr. Breton, I hereby sentence you to be dope-slapped about the back of the head until such time as get your head out of your ass and you gain a clue?”