So, the "hand of God" is available for "licensing" via eBay now. Paul Grayhek, who lost his job and says he is pursuing a master's degree in social work, is offering the rights to a rock formation that appeared in his back yard. Mr. Grayhek says he believes the formation, revealed after a landslide that hit his back yard last month, was a sign from God to him not to lose faith. "People think I'm some holier-than-thou person trying to get rich. I'm not. The purpose is to spread the story of God and eBay is just a vehicle." But he seems to want to keep the rock. Here's more from CNN. According to this Idaho Statesman story, minimum bid is $100.
But note that according to the eBay listing, he seems to be offering both the rock wall itself and rights to make copies of the "hand." See below.
What is being auctioned?
The Hand of God Rock Wall
Located in Coeur D Alene, Idaho 83814
- The complete and exclusive rights to take pictures, images or scans.
- The exclusive rights to accounts and descriptions of the events surrounding the “Hand of God” in my backyard including all literary and/or movie rights.
- The exclusive rights to make a casting of the hand; it is approx 9ft tall x 4ft wide
- The exclusive rights to dismantle the wall and take the Hand for reassembly anywhere in the world or space “with conditions”
- The exclusive rights to other things I have forgotten to mention; just ask I’m easy
- All city, county, state or federal permits and/or fees are the complete responsibility of the buyer
I'm not entirely certain what he means by "with conditions" in number 4. Either one has "exclusive rights" or one does not. Does the seller mean reassembly just to take pictures? And then the buyer would have to return the entire rock formation?
In addition, does the buyer get an easement to get access to the formation so s/he can take photos? Suppose the buyer wants to turn this formation into a tourist attraction? What happens if hordes (dozens, a few) tourists show up flourishing tickets and want to take pictures in Mr. Grayhek's backyard? (I'm thinking #5 in the list above).
Update: I just checked and this listing is now "unavailable" on eBay. [April 28, 2009]. Here's an item from ninemsn news also noting that the listing is gone, with no explanation from eBay.