According to Quartz, those little golden statuettes they hand out at the Oscars are never actually won -- they're simply loaned to the winner for as long as they wish to keep them. And while they can be passed down to the winner's children, they can never be sold to anyone else "without first offering to sell it back to the Academy."
The Academy wont be giving anybody anything on Sunday. Instead, it will be loaning an Oscar to each award-winner, who may hold onto it for as long as she likes and even pass it on to her heirs, but cannot sell the gold statuette to anyone without first offering to sell it back to the Academy for the handsome sum of $1. If, instead, she tries to hawk it for cash, shell hear from David W. Quinto, the Academys lawyer, in about the time it takes her to second-guess her eBay starting price.
The Academy is extremely protective of the Oscars singular stature and has fought tirelessly to keep the award from becoming a salable commodity, and to purge the world of Oscar knock-offs. Quinto, whose firm has represented the Academy for the past two and half decades, sends notices to potential trademark violators almost every day: A confectioner that makes Oscar-shaped chocolates. Adult stores selling smutty Oscar replicas. Websites such as Oscarwatch.com.
By the way, the Quartz website is quite quirky. It wouldn't work in the latest Firefox on a brand spanking new Apple computer, and only behaved properly on Chrome.
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