WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has applied to trademark his name for “public speaking [and entertainment] services.” Assange will soon be extradited to Sweden where he will defend himself against sexual misconduct charges. It is possible that he will be sent stateside to face espionage charges for releasing confidential diplomatic cables.
As his legal woes continue without any sign of slowing down, Assange has seen his notoriety likewise escalating. In December, it was reported that he would receive $1.3 million dollars to pen his autobiography. Apparently, Assange will publish his story purely to pay his bills. “I don’t want to write this book, but I have to,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Times. “I have already spent £200,000 for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.”
If you’re suspect of Assange’s apparent motivations for his latest paycheck, those misgivings are well-justified. Members of WikiLeaks themselves have defected to form OpenLeaks partially because their fearless leader was incapable of separating his own infamy from the groups’ purpose. The remaining members of the transparency group are currently peddling WikiLeaks and Assange emblazoned products to raise money for its operations as well as legal fees.
As fascination surrounding Assange and his team continues to grow, it’s only natural he’s seeking to protect all profit made off his name. In addition to the books and coffee mugs bearing his title and likeness, two movies are in the works centered on Assange and Cablegate. According to forms filed with the Intellectual Property Office, he will attempt to retain ownership over his name as it applies to “news reporter services,” “journalism,” “publication of texts other than publicity texts,” and “education services.”