When it comes to t-shirt sales, “White Lives Matter” won’t make Kanye West a penny. The rapper, whose real name is Ye, doesn’t own the phrase’s trademark and black people don’t seem inclined to license it to him.
Phoenix radio hosts Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward were given the badge by a longtime listener of their social justice-focused show Civic Cipher, Capital B Atlanta reported this week, while the name of the applicant remained anonymous.
“This person who first got it didn’t really love owning it because the purpose wasn’t necessarily to get rich with it; The purpose was to make sure other people didn’t get rich from this pain,” Ja told the news site.
A trademark application was filed under the Jae Gibson name on Oct. 3, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office database, and Ja and Ward acquired the mark on Friday, according to Capital B. A mailbox for Gibson was full when The Times arrived at to get a comment, and an SMS came back “not delivered”.
Ye and conservative pundit Candace Owens posed in long-sleeved “White Lives Matter” t-shirts at the rapper-designer’s Paris Fashion Week show for his Yeezy line on Oct. 3. Models on the show also wore the shirts. The move didn’t go down well. Since then, Ye has suffered massive business losses because of his continued anti-Semitic and conspiracy-oriented statements. Last week, he attacked the mother of George Floyd’s child as “greedy” after she filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against him for recent comments about how Floyd died.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to more than 20 years in the killing of Floyd that sparked protests around the world.
But while Ye may have made “White Lives Matter” headlines, the rights to profit from the phrase don’t belong to him — or not — and almost certainly never will.
According to the trademark database, a form was submitted on Oct. 7 submitting contact information to a Phoenix address connected to Ja. Another form was filed on November 2 to change the ownership of the records to Civic Cipher LLC and the mailing address to a UPS store in Phoenix.
The original applicant chose to give the sign to radio hosts, said Yes, because they “felt we were in a much more public position to use it to Black people’s advantage.”
Ward and Ja now have the right to sue anyone who uses the expression for financial gain by selling any blouse, boxer shorts or panties, t-shirt or tank top, hoodie, jeggings or leggings, jogging suit or sweatshirt, socks, tracksuit coat, dress, Skirts, shorts and more.
A summoned item could hurt Ye more than most, given his penchant for covering himself from head to toe: ski masks labeled “White Lives Matter” would be trademarked.
The radio hosts decided to accept ownership of the brand, Ja told CNN, “once it became clear that someone would derive significant benefit from it.” The phrase has been labeled white supremacist hate speech by the Anti-Defamation League and a “racist response” to the Black Lives Matter movement by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“[A]”You saw it,” said Ja, “although he [West] says some really hurtful, divisive and sometimes crazy things, he’s got quite a following and every time he releases something it sells out.”
A few weeks after Ye unveiled his shirts – featuring pictures of two different popes on the front and the WLM slogan on the back – one of his employees reportedly gave a box of them away to people living on Skid Row in downtown L.A. lived
Ja told Capital B that he and his co-host saw two ways their ownership of the brand could go: Someone could offer millions to own the brand, in which case they would sell the money and go to a black supporter donate to a non-profit organization, or it could one day transfer the “White Lives Matter” trademark rights to Black Lives Matter.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-11-03/ye-kanye-west-white-lives-matter-trademark-civic-cipher Oops. Kanye West doesn’t own ‘White Lives Matter’ trademark