This Year I Finally Enter the Public Domain

Folks, the day is finally here. After four decades under tight copyright protection, I, David R. Henne, am entering the public domain. Starting January 1st, artists and creators can legally breathe new life into my formerly trademarked likeness!

What exciting interpretations will these visionaries have for my scoliosis, receding hairline, and fallen arches? What fun new outfits will stylists design for me to wear to the grocery store? How will fashionistas reinvent my signature look of NY Jets jersey with sweatpants?

Whatever direction creatives want to take me, my body is a blank canvas! (As long as you don’t make me wear sandals—my likeness doesn’t respond well to open-toed shoes.)

I’ve been counting the days until the New Year, getting ready to enter the public domain. Just last week I was packing up my trademark tortoiseshell glasses and prescription medication when I was like, “Wait a tick, these are relics from my old life! I’m up for interpretation now, baby!”

I hucked the suitcase out the window. My heart murmur rasping with anticipation.

That reminds me, also available for public use is my catchphrase, “Leave me to my sweets!” Which is a line I say after dinner once I’ve foraged the cupboard for sweet treats. My wife always gets a big kick out of it. (She’s not entering the public domain, to be clear.)

Of course, now I can say whatever clever catchphrases Hollywood writers pitch to me. Inclusive phrases that let people know that I’m here for the entire public, and not just for my wife and two kids who, again, I love dearly but are not entering the public domain this year.

Perhaps someday they can join me, but for now, I’m here for the people!

Yes, the public domain is a true fresh start. A rebrand for a failing IP like me who needs a new plotline. A sexy new love interest. And preferably a job.

If anyone can put me back on my feet, it’s you: the public domain.

Don’t feel constrained to stay loyal to my classic character when you’re reinventing me. I’m totally willing to branch out. After all, I’m more than just a stay-at-home curmudgeon with acid reflux and a middle-school understanding of finance, the arts, and copyright law. Literally drop me in any open-sourced setting, and watch me go!

Plop me in a hip bar and market me to the younger demographic! Just don’t give me any IPAs unless you want my GERD dominating your evening affair.

Put me in your courtroom after educating me on what litigation is, and how to resist interjecting during the prosecution’s opening statements with my second trademark catchphrase: “Who let the dogs in?” (Also now in the public domain.)

Or just give me money to keep doing whatever I’m doing.

So what do you say? Do you have a bold new perspective for me? An edgy new vision of my origin story? Maybe one with a sexy leading starlet who plays a loose interpretation of my wife but not my actual wife, since she will not be joining me in the public domain?

Take your artistic license and strap me along for the ride. Or just hire my new likeness to work for your company! Give me a construction helmet, firefighter helmet, or a race car helmet—any kind of helmet to cover up that receding hairline—and let me do my thing.

I’m ready to take on whatever new challenges await, and, again, ready to take on whoever you want to pair me up in your romantic reimagining of my brand.

Have at me, world! And hang tight, family. Daddy will send for you once his new likeness is established. I’m in the public domain now!

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