I have a friend who is an officer in a club which performs classical music. One day, an employee from ASCAP popped up and was very obnoxious about their Bach. When the members pointed out that Bach died in the 18th century and the copyright on his stuff has surely lapsed, the ASCAP guy said the publishers "owned the notes." (!?)
Well, if publishers can own notes, why can't I own letters? I am going to copyright the letters e,j and x. Which ones do you want?