The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Should companies be able to copyright words so others can't use it?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 319 times Debate No: 87085
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I do not think that companies should be able to copyright words. Back about a year or so ago game making company King copyrighted the words "Candy" and "Saga" so that if another company tried to use those words they would either have to pay a hefty royalty fee or wouldn't be able to use it at all.
I think it's wrong to copyright words because the English language is meant to be used for everyone, and shouldn't be turned into a business. If I am making a game I shouldn't not be allowed to use a certain word because someone has "bought" the word. Copying a game is one thing but buying words so only you could use them is a totally different ballgame.


As a young entrepreneur i gladly accept your debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I continue, I would like to correct some incorrect facts/statements posted in the previous round. First, King was unsuccessful in trademarking the word "Candy" and "Saga", but I stated that they were successful. Secondly, by me saying "copyright", I also meant trademarks, and I will do a better job distinguishing the two. Now on to the argument!

As I mentioned previously companies should not be able to trademark words. It is like trying to trademark the oxygen we breathe. All words are fair game, and anyone can use them as they please. And while my previous argument focused on King trying to trademark words, they are not the only company who has tried to trademark words. Other companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and many more companies have tried to "buy rights" to words (1). While some have explainable reasons (Instagram with "Insta" and Twitter using "tweet") others are absolutely ridiculous (Microsoft trying to trademark "natural" and "rare"). There are laws that protect companies from having product names stolen, like the Trademark law, but it doesn't mean that a company has a monopoly on the word, like some incorporation's intend to use it (2).

Another reason I am against trademarking is royalty fees. Royalty fees are a sum of money company A must pay to company B to be able to use something that company B owns, like a song. For example, have you ever been to a restaurant on your birthday and the staff got together to sing their version of the Happy Birthday song? It's because the restaurant didn't want to have to pay a hefty royalty fee to Warner/Chappell, the company who had owned the rights to the song "Happy Birthday to You" until September 2015, when it was ruled that the song was public property. Warner/Chappell had made up to 2 million dollars per year charging royalties for the song(3). It truly shows that royalty fees are challenging to everyone.

In conclusion, I think words should not be able to be trademarked because words are free for everyone to use, monopolies could be formed on the word and that royalty fees hurt companies and other people as well. Companies should NOT be able to trademark words for personal gain.

Thank you so much for reading my cases. I look forward to hear my opponents view on the case.

Links and sources:


DOPEYOLOSWAG420 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
>Reported vote: U.n// Mod action: Removed<

6 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Pro merely accepted the debate and made no actual argument before forfeiting a turn. Only Con made arguments and only Con cited sources.

[*Reason for removal*] As this is a full forfeit debate, votes are not moderated so long as the vote goes for the side that did not forfeit. However, the voter appears to have awarded points to the forfeiting side accidentally, as the RFD clearly specifies that he's voting for Con while the points were awarded to Pro.
Posted by lazy.sailor 8 months ago
King does not have a trademark on the word candy. You can't really trademark everyday words (like candy, pixels, etc.). Companies often try to do this, but they fail all the time.
Posted by OreosAreCool 8 months ago
These are trademarks, not copyrights.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 months ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con due to Pro's forfeiture. Arguments to Con due to the fact that he was the only one who provided an argument, and sources as well, while Pro just accepted the debate.