Hello again gang, I hope everyone’s final craze has been okay. I know I have been up since two in the morning – until I realized that I was looking at stupid memes on the internet. In case you have been living under a rock, (or a digital immigrant) memes are viral jokes that are posted online and edited and remade hundreds of thousands of times by other users on the internet. Did you know that there now exists a service that can allow you to protect your own memes as intellectual property? Ben Lashes, who represents the people such as “Scumbag Steve” and the guy who created Keyboard cat in the 1980’s. Guess what? Steve is a actual scumbag in real life, too! Who is bad at rapping!
Conveniently, not pictured is the total lack of a crowd.
Anyway, Ben Lashes is protecting the owners and subjects of memes from people who wish to make money off of them. I was happy to hear this, as he is not trying to prevent distribution of already well-known icons among the internet community. That was my first worry when I saw someone was copywriting memes – as we all know, major businesses are cashing in on the popularity of viral videos and meme. For example, the image of the Dos Equis “Most interesting man in the world” has become a meme – with over 10,000 images in this database alone. So, it is easy to worry when individuals like Ben Lashes begin protecting memes: what if companies begin doing the same? What if Scumbag Steve was the new face for Louis Vuitton?
Do you think it is risky to begin legally protecting memes? Or does protection of the identities of people depicted as memes outweigh the cons?