Five years ago today, this blog was created. Since then, we’ve posted over 2600 completely normal things said by @edwardspoonhands, and that’s not stopping anytime soon.
Thanks to all of our followers along the way: the new ones, the old ones, even the ones who unfollowed us when we became @katherinegreenoutofcontext for April Fool’s. And as they say in our hometown,
God, I love smoothies made of meat Don’t Forget to be Awesome.
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.
In light of Hank’s birthday, I’m making a compilation of some of my favorite posters I’ve made out of his quotes (so far). Take some time to absorb the messages in each one and you’ll realize why I’ve always enjoyed illustrating his words over the years :D
Keep spreading awesome, Hank, and happy happy birthday!