I’ve seen a bunch of posts on tumblr recently criticizing Taylor Swift (or her reps) for taking down fan-created crafts or artwork that uses trademarks related to Ms. Swift.

The problem they face is that, as explained in this video, you cannot selectively enforce trademarks. So if you don’t tell fans they can’t make fan art, then Urban Outfitters can come along and say, “Your trademark isn’t real because you didn’t enforce it with this or that product for sale on etsy, even though you knew about it or could have easily discovered it, so we don’t have to pay you for all these Taylor Swift shirts we are selling.”

This is why we have chosen not to trademark “DFTBA” or “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.” We aren’t going to tell nerdfighters they can’t make DFTBA stuff and sell it, and so we can’t tell Urban Outfitters they can’t make DFTBA stuff and sell it. 

But that’s much harder to do when you’re Taylor Swift and there are a bajillion corporations trying to cash in on phrases and images related to you.

Trademark law is really stupid and annoying, and unless you create a series of complicated hurdles offering some people free licenses, it’s almost impossible to restrict certain people from using your trademark without restricting everyone from using it. 

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

I became a nerdfighter in October 2013 in a somewhat unconventional way. The Fault In Our Stars was a book I had wanted but was hesitant to get, which is crazy now considering I recommend it to everyone I know. It’s probably annoying, actually. Anyway, TFIOS was in the pile of books that I would grab at my local Barnes and Noble (I usually grab somewhere between seven to thirteen books to leaf through before I decide), but it always went on my goodreads because something else would pull me in. Until I went to Minneapolis in the aforementioned October with a then-boyfriend (should that be hyphenated?) The particular book I grabbed had a sticky note that read “Hello reader of this particalar John Green book. You may or may not know this, but you are probably a nerdfighter. Read this book, then, go to You will love this new lifestyle! Love, Nerdfighteria”. (Good punctuation helps in roping in a nerd, I think)

I looked in all the other books thinking that they had to have put more notes in them in case someone picked this one up. The one I had grabbed was the only one with a note. Curiosity piqued, I bought the book and I’m so happy I did. I now own all of John Green’s books and I just finished reading This Star Won’t Go Out. It’s changed my outlook on life and made me feel more connected to people who are into all the things I’m into, who strive to end world suck, and who proudly shout DFTBA! So I have to thank that person who wrote that note, whoever they are and wherever they may be. They’ve given me much more than I could hope for.

P.S. The picture is of the original note that still sits in the book. fishingboatproceeds

P.P.S. For some reason, I couldn’t get this to post properly the first couple times so if this happens to pop up as a notification on John Greens tumblr that I tried (like, three times) to tag him in and it says crazy stuff, I’m really sorry, John! How do I Internet?!?!

I dislike the phrase “Internet friends,” because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends, that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Skype or text messages. The measure of a friendship is not its physicality but its significance. Good friendships, online or off, urge us toward empathy; they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prisons of our selves. I imagine that part of Esther was sad to give up the illusion that she was going to be okay with her Internet friends, but what followed was a revelation for all of us. Our Internet friendships were real and they were powerful, and they became more real and powerful when Esther and her friends were finally able to acknowledge and openly discuss the truth about her illness.
—  John Green (Talking about his friendship with Esther Earl, the girl who inspired The Fault in our Stars)