Accessibility Links

Naked Cowboy sues Naked Indian, wants him to join his Naked Gang

Posted by: Laurence Simons 19/07/12

Oh, America.

Some fights are as old as time. Palestine, that sort of thing. Pakistan and India, with their cricket and their nukes. And, of course, a really angry naked dude stomping around Times Square in New York in a huff.

Yes. This is happening. Robert Burck, better known as 'that naked guy who swans around Times Square wearing little more than pants and a guitar' or just 'the Naked Cowboy', is involved in a bitter turf war. With another half-naked man. Wearing an Indian headdress. Called 'The Naked Indian'.

And he's trying to get all up in his grill, as the Naked Cowboy told the New York Daily Post this week. "I've been here 365 days, every day, for 13 years and change," says Burck, who really takes his job of being lightly clammy to the touch and posing next to bewildered mums seriously. "He's only been here 16 days and missed two already." It's called 'a weekend', Burck, and it's an American right.

However, labour laws aside, the Naked Cowboy has previous: he tried to sue Mars Inc after an advert for M&Ms featured a blue M playing guitar and wearing a cowboy hat in an approximation of Times Square, while Burck filed suit against former stripper and 'Naked Cowgirl' Sandy Kane for 'jacking his swagger'.

How is this all relevant to those of us who wear clothes to work, and in legal jobs? Well, because, technically, this is a case of corporate copyright infringement, rather than 'mildly agitated nude guy' infringement. Not only did agitated nude guy trademark the idea of wearing a hat, playing a guitar and avoiding adult life back in 2000, he also formed a company, Naked Cowboy Enterprises, with which he signs up others as sort of Naked Cowboy franchises. Aforementioned Naked Cowgirl Sandy Kane avoided suit by signing up to the scheme, while the Naked Indian (or 'Adam David', as he is known to his poor, poor, sad and disappointed mother) is being pressured to join up or face a hefty lawsuit. Burck's monopoly of nudes just goes to show that copyright is a big, heaving, naked business, and comes in many forms.