“Dear Zombie Attorneys,
I represent a well-known entertainer who has recently been ‘promoted to Glory’. The estate has already been contacted with very lucrative lease offers, but we are naturally concerned about preserving the artist’s lifetime works. If we lease out our zombie star, will that have any effect on the intellectual property rights she held in life?”
– Cautious in Clearwater
Good question, Cautious. No. Almost never.
In general the IP generated by a person stays with the estate, or the record company (for example), after their passing. In certain rare situations, however, body-part insurance (of the type that movie stars get on their smile, for athletes on their legs, say) do pass on with the zombie to their new leasor. Or, in other words, the new leasor becomes a second party insured by operation of law.
So, the party who leases a famous zombie doesn’t benefit per se from the zombie’s star power, but they may have a claim should that star power be damaged in an incident after death.
I run a little sandwich and coffee shop, just me and my son. We don’t actually lease any zombies, but I think maybe the after-hours clean-up company that I use (cuz I’ve got to sleep sometime) uses a few to empty trash.
I just got a notice from the city Department of Health saying that I need to have zombie safety equipment installed and inspected within 30 days. Can they do that, even though I don’t have any necro-labor? What if I use a human-only cleaning company?”
– Small Shop in South Dade
I’m afraid that’s right, SS. And it’s not because you have a zombie-ful cleaning service, it’s because you serve the public, any particular member of which, it’s sad to say, could amble into your shop, give up the ghost, and cause a zombie “problem”.
However, there are several ways to satisfy the State and Federal requirements. Tasers work against most zombies, especially newly-minted ones, since they still have all the muscle fiber of a human…unfortunately, so do humans, and mis-fired tasers striking would-be escapees have resulted in as many zombie meals as misses.
Fire extinguishers can be used to satisfy regulatory requirements, if they are the kind that contain animal proteins (which not all do, check your label). Those are pretty rare and expensive, though, and I think used mostly on race tracks, so that doesn’t always help. Most likely you’ll just have to buy a couple of those DeathAlert bracelets for yourself and your son (or any other employee) so the authorities can be alerted if there’s a zombie loose (which are cheap)…and have a Zombie-Scape exit or safe room installed as well (which are not).
“Dear Cole and Leslie,
I have a few commercial zo’s I use in my garage business…pulling up engine blocks, moving car bodies, and so on.
I had a customer freak out on me the other day when he saw that his car had been touched by a zo. He said that zo’s carry the Swine Flu, and that if he got sick, he was going to sue me! Is that true?”
– Threatened in Tallahassee
Ok, Threatened, let’s distinguish between someone suing you, and someone actually successfully proceeding against you in court, getting a favorable judgment, and collecting on the judgment.
Yes, zo’s do carry bacteria and other bugs, which is why that guy from the County comes by and takes a needle-full of their fluids and gives you a certificate of clean health once a year. As long as you’ve got that (you’ve got that, right?) you’ll be good.
But yes, he can sue you, anybody can sue anybody at anytime. Luckily, frivolous lawsuits can be punished by forcing the filing party to pay the defending party’s attorneys fees. So don’t worry, you need more than just a sheet of paper to win a lawsuit, you need good facts, good law, and braaii…well you get it.
I just got back from Las Vegas and made a TON of money betting on racing zombies. Is there any legal zombie racing here in the State of Florida? Is it illegal to bet on zombie races on the internet?”
– Mad Money in Malabar
Glad you had a nice trip, Mad.
I’m sorry to say that most forms of internet gambling are illegal in Florida and at the Federal level. However, it’s not illegal to go to one of the various Seminole Casinos, or to a “racino” (i.e., a dog race track that has various forms of televised betting events).
I think I see where you might be going with this, though, and let me make this very clear: DO NOT start any sort of “independent” zombie racing circle. That is most definitely illegal, in all sorts of ways; you’ll not only be potentially guilty of reckless endangerment if the zo’s get out of the racetrack, but also all the lesser associated crimes like transporting zombies without a license, operating a business without a license, zoning violations, etc.