We live in a culture where we birth, and burn through, memes in a matter of days. (See: planking.) So while it’s highly unlikely that any specific meme will last long enough to make anybody much cash, that hasn’t stopped athletes who’ve inspired said memes from claiming them as their own.
It started with Tebowing, of course; Tim Tebow now owns a trademark on the kneeling-in-prayer image, as well as the name. Now San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a trademark for “Kaepernicking,” a move where you kiss your own (presumably tattooed) bicep in celebration of your overall awesomeness.
Kaepernick plans to use the image on T-shirts. As ESPN.com notes, T-shirts made by Sportiqe are already in circulation. Proceeds from those shirts go to Camp Taylor, a charitable organization to help kids with congenital heart defects. So, copyright thieves, if you’re using the Kaepernicking image without permission, you’re stealing from sick kids. Hope you can live with that.
Of course, the kissing-my-bicep move has been around forever, so Kaepernick will need to be vigilant if he really wants to protect this copyright. Steakhead dudes taking pictures of yourselves in your bathroom mirror: heads up.
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