Trademark News & Screw-ups Frank Ocean T-Shirt at Center of Debate Over Tweet Copyright

Copyright protects original works of literature, regardless of their merit. However, the question here is whether a single phrase crafted in form of a tweet is protected. As it often is with intellectual property law, it depends. The outcome typically depends on the degree of creativity that went into authoring the work. Short, everyday phrases could not be trademarked. Something more fancy and elaborate could. Frankly, "Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?" is somewhere in the middle. But we'll never know if the courts would determine if making tshirts with this phrase constituted copyright infringement as the parties have found an amicable resolution to the dispute.

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