You Only Live Once, So Why Not Demand Payment For The YOLO Acronym You Didn't Invent?
from the you-only-live-long-enough-to-troll dept
The singer Drake has, at times, been good about not being an IP absolutist, blasting his own label (Universal Music) for taking down the music he was leaking. However, it appears that he’s not above demanding money for ideas he didn’t come up with. According to Mashable, Drake has been tweeting at various retailers, demanding that they send him money for selling clothing that include the word “YOLO,” recognized as an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” Drake posted to his Instagram feed a picture of YOLO hats at Walgreens and said:
Walgreens….you gotta either chill or cut the cheque
He sent a similar message about YOLO clothes at Macys.
Drake, along with Rick Ross, are credited with popularizing YOLO in the song “The Motto” released in late 2011. The acronym became so popular since then that the Oxford English Dictionary had it as a runner up for word of the year.
So, if Drake came up with YOLO, does he deserve money? Well, there’s a problem. A look at the etymology of YOLO suggests it predates Drake’s song by many years — and, in fact, a YOLO clothing line was launched back in 2004 following the use by one of the characters in the NBC TV show Average Joe. Similarly, the term went into the Urban Dictionary way back in 2004 as well. A search of the US PTO trademark database, shows a bunch of trademarks (and applications) related to the word “Yolo,” some of which date back before Drake’s song. Drake may have popularized it, but he didn’t come up with it, and to now claim ownership of it seems pretty rich. Though, I guess, if “you only live once,” perhaps his feeling is he might as well make an obnoxious cash grab for something someone else came up with.