Rapist, former lawmaker Ted Klaudt claims name copyright

2009-12-15T12:30:00Z Rapist, former lawmaker Ted Klaudt claims name copyrightThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 15, 2009 12:30 pm  • 

A former South Dakota lawmaker convicted of raping his two foster daughters has sent news organizations what he claims is a copyright notice that seeks to prevent the use of his name without his consent.

A letter and an accompanying document labeled "Common Law Copyright Notice" said former state Rep. Ted Alvin Klaudt is reserving a common-law copyright of a trade name or trademark for his name. It said no one can use his name without his consent, and anyone who does would owe him $500,000.

Klaudt was convicted in 2007 on four counts of second-degree rape for touching his teenage foster daughters' breasts and genitals in phony examinations he said could help them sell their eggs to infertile couples. He was sentenced to 44 years in prison for rape and 10 more years after pleading guilty to two counts of witness tampering.

The notice, received by The Associated Press and several other news organizations Monday, carried a return address that matched that of the state prison in Springfield, where Klaudt is being held.

Klaudt's daughter, Roxy, reached by telephone at the family ranch near Walker, confirmed that her father had sent the copyright notice but would not explain why.

The former lawmaker could not immediately be reached for comment because inmates must be contacted initially by letter and asked to write or call, said Michael Winder, a spokesman for the state Corrections Department.

Laura Malone, associated general counsel for intellectual property at The Associated Press, said names of people, companies and products cannot be protected under copyright law. Names can be protected under trademark law, but only in association with goods or services used in commerce, she said.

"Even if there was a valid trademark, the mere use of the name in a news story is not an infringement of trademark," Malone said Tuesday.

"There is no legal substance to these claims," she added.

The letter and copyright notice Klaudt sent to The Associated Press carried a postmark of Dec. 11 from Mobridge, a city near his ranch. The notice was signed July 13, 2008, and notarized in Bon Homme County, the location of the Springfield prison. It also included a seal indicating it was filed with the register of deeds in Corson County, where the family ranch is located, on July 31, 2008.

The letter said anyone seeking to use Klaudt's name would have to file a written request 20 days in advance. It also said he would pursue charges and other legal action against anyone who violated the notice.

South Dakota's Supreme Court upheld Klaudt's convictions in August for the events that occurred in his Pierre motel suite during the 2005 and 2006 legislative sessions. Klaudt served in the state House from 1999-2006 and left because of term limits. He ran for a state Senate seat in 2006 but lost to the Democratic candidate.

His lawyer had argued in the appeal that while Klaudt's actions were terrible, they did not amount to rape because the girls gave their consent in the belief they could make money by donating eggs to infertile couples.

A state prosecutor countered that Klaudt did rape the girls because he coerced the two into fake medical examinations and they did not consent to what Klaudt was really doing.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. RedLeg6
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    RedLeg6 - December 18, 2009 8:36 am
    Am surprised that this guy is possibly still self-propelled. Hope they put him on a diet so they don't have to bust out a wall to get him out in 40 years. I can only imagine what he raised on his "ranch."
  2. smartypants
    Report Abuse
    smartypants - December 17, 2009 9:24 pm
    Oh my... We have heard it all now, haven't we? I think he has more to worry about than someone uttering his name. What a deplorable attention seeking stunt. PLEASE!
  3. eifeldude
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    eifeldude - December 16, 2009 11:54 pm
    This guy already has a new name in the PEN. They call him CHOZILLA
  4. 11th Dimension
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    11th Dimension - December 16, 2009 4:50 pm
    I wouldn't worry about your name to much Ted, I'm 100% positive your new roommates will think of a new one for ya. Maybe "Property of Bubba".
  5. Common Sense
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    Common Sense - December 15, 2009 11:14 pm
    I guess a couple of the previous comments are making the point that this guy is fat. He sure looks fat, so I guess they are pointing out the obvious?? What about his behavior with the children entrusted to his care?? I would say he belongs right where he is.
  6. Uncle Bob
    Report Abuse
    Uncle Bob - December 15, 2009 5:06 pm
    Heh. "Weigh in on Ted Klaudt" said the link I clicked on to get here. This guy represented a very rural district spread far and wide, and I'm sure most of his constituents never met him cheek to jowl, so to speak.
  7. Jason
    Report Abuse
    Jason - December 15, 2009 2:36 pm
    Everyone should remember the dirty politics this piece of filth used against Ken Wetz during his last campaign, and the way the GOP backed him up during that campaign.
  8. renevatio
    Report Abuse
    renevatio - December 15, 2009 12:18 pm
    How did this crackpot get as far in life as he did. Oh yeah... Ted Klaudt, Ted Klaudt, Hey.... I guess I owe him a cool million.
  9. namerequired
    Report Abuse
    namerequired - December 15, 2009 12:01 pm
    I didn't think this guy could sink much lower, but he has proven us wrong.
  10. wastela
    Report Abuse
    wastela - December 15, 2009 11:57 am
    LOL....is he afraid 'Weight Watchers' is going to use his name. Seems like 'The Biggest Loser' is more appropriate. He is right where he belongs, away from the public, out of the Legislature.
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