Invasion of Privacy, Copyright Infringement, or Just Shame at Sending a Ziggy Card?


NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana is suing an ex-wife and an auction house for violating "his copyright and privacy rights," reports The Smoking Gun. The first of three Mrs. Montanas recently sold a bunch of letters and memorabilia from the San Francisco 49ers star's college days at Notre Dame.

This case raises potentially interesting intellectual property rights issues: What is privacy to begin with? Especially for a celeb? Are love letters copyrightable and, if so, should most of us be sued for plagiarism too? Etc.

But mostly the case is just another reason to turn to Ziggy, a comic strip created by a father and continued by a son that is every bit as unfunny as the English protectorate under Cromwell I and II, Tom Swift under Victors Appleton I and II, and the current U.S. republic cum empire under Bush 1.0 and 2.0.

I half-suspect that Montana is simply upset at a Ziggy card going public, even one from the '70s, during Ziggy's zigariffic heyday. Based on the stuff below, it's hard to know what is Montana's own feeling and what is mass-produced sentiment. But personal embarrassment should never be enough to justify lawsuits.