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There'd Be No Winners in This Title Bout

June 23, 2004

Re "Bradbury Wants His Title Back," June 19: Ray Bradbury feels that Michael Moore has "ripped off" the title of his classic novel "Fahrenheit 451" by titling his new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" and is demanding an apology. There is an important distinction between a "rip-off" and a "take off," the latter having been affirmed protection under the 1st Amendment.

No intellectual property has been stolen or even misappropriated. Only the word "Fahrenheit" is a common factor between the two titles. An author cannot copyright, patent or protect a word for his own proprietary use.

In point of fact, there is no legal protection afforded for the copyright of a title, whether it is a novel, movie or play. Bradbury's seminal and provocative novel is of such a depth and power it would in any event easily withstand affronts of far greater seriousness.

David Temianka

Los Angeles


What's wrong with Bradbury? Has he gone conservative on us? He wants the name on Moore's new film changed. Bradbury's book "Fahrenheit 451" was about independent thinking; Moore's movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" is about independent thinking. "Fahrenheit 9/11" can only help acquaint a new generation with Bradbury's classic.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City, Calif.

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