Kanye West got a lot of publicity for his . But, as it turns out, he won’t be able to sell them. That’s because he doesn’t own the copyright to the phrase.
As Capital B News reports, Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward, two Black podcaster/radio hosts in Phoenix, Arizona, were “gifted” the trademark to the phase from a longtime, anonymous listener of their podcast, Civic Cipher. Apparently, the listener got ownership of the phrase in 2020 and recently handed it over to the hosts. As such, they can sue anyone who uses it for financial gain. Captial B reports that the hosts got the trademark just a few weeks after West debuted the t-shirts. In an interview with Capital B, Ja discussed owning the rights to the phrase. “I would rather live in a world where the profits from those sales go back to help offset the pain it causes rather than live in a world where I have nothing to do with that.”
Kanye has said that his use of the “white lives matter” slogan was in reaction to Black Lives Matter, which he He’s also made a lot of other incendiary comments lately, including comparing himself to Emmett Till. His comments have led to the end of a number of his business relationships, including with Adidas, Def Jam and his touring agency. Additionally, Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown have left Donda Sports, West's sports agency. And Donda Academy, a school that he started, has closed and reopened, casting doubts upon its future.
Former associates of Kanye have recently spoken to the press, saying that he has often expressed admiration for Hitler. Meanwhile, West has expressed interest in acquiring Parler, the conservative social media network whose CEO is George Farmer, the husband of Candace Owens.