Legally Speaking: Can you trademark the N-word? | We The Internet TV


[BARRY] Look at the practical results of the court’s ruling: it means that somebody’s
basically going to be able to go in
and register the N-word. Now, you know,
how’s that going to work out? I’m not sure! [LOU] Has anyone done that yet? [BARRY] Not that I know of. [LOU] That could be
a huge moneymaker right there. (music) [LOU] There was a case of a band that wanted to trademark its name, but there was a little bit
of an issue there. Can you tell us about that? [BARRY] Yeah, it was called
Matal v. Tam in the United States
Supreme Court. Where a band called The Slants
wanted to get a federal registration
on that term for trademark. And the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office has a rule, though, that says that you can’t register
a disparaging trademark. [LOU] So, The Slants is a derogatory term for Asian people, I guess. It’s not the most derogatory,
but it is derogatory. [BARRY] And so the Trademark Office
denied the registration. So, The Slants sued and took it
all the way up to the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court ruled that the regulation that said you can’t register disparaging trademarks violated the First Amendment,
reasoning that it constituted preferring one viewpoint over another. [LOU] One of the details of it,
the band itself were made up
of Asian-Americans. And I think one of the band members said that The Slants was actually a way for them, not only to take back that term,
but also it was a way of describing
how they view the world. So it’s like a different perspective,
a different slant, if you will. [BARRY] And so, I think that for the
Court to say this was a restriction
on speech was sort of silly. The band could go around
calling themselves The Slants
all they want, all they couldn’t do is just
register it as a trademark. [LOU] And there was an example, too,
of The Washington Redskins
a while back, they were refused a trademark
as well for their name. Does this case change that? [BARRY] It definitely does,
because now what was
denying the Redskins — well, why it was cancelled
was because of the disparaging
trademark regulation. Now that that has been reversed, they’ve kept their registration. [LOU] Do you think now,
the Redskins will even go further, and try to get a new name
that’s even more derogatory? [BARRY] I doubt it, because they
still have a constituency. They need to respond
to market forces, so I don’t see why
they would do that. [LOU] Right.
Missing out. Opportunity. (music) [BARRY] The First Amendment
was designed to allow political dissent, and the Court, in a famous case,
said that that debate is bound to be
caustic and offensive to many, but we are going to tolerate that
in order to make sure we have
that sort of democratic discourse. And so, to relate that principle
to registering a federal trademark,
I think is a little off the mark. Look at the practical results
of the court’s ruling. It means that somebody’s
basically going to be able to go in
and register the N-word. Now, how’s that going to work out?
I’m not sure. [LOU] Has anyone done that yet? [BARRY] Not that I know of. [LOU] That could be a
huge moneymaker right there. So, do you want to
go in on that together? [BARRY] I don’t. (music) Hey guys, I hope you enjoyed our video. If you have any questions about the First Amendment or free speech in general, let us know in the comments. And be sure to subscribe to our channel, and make sure to click the little bell icon so you get notified any time we release a new video.

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44 thoughts on “Legally Speaking: Can you trademark the N-word? | We The Internet TV

  1. Hmmm Google search for how to trade mark… "Niggas be trippin" here I come…. Think of all those rappers that are gonna owe me money…. Muahaha!

  2. Okay. So when one obtains a trademark on a derogatory and racial word, does that give the person the right to use it?

  3. Well, that would require my country to have actual free speech laws, rather than pushing the hate speech narrative.

  4. "Do you want to go in on that, together?"

    Hell, if he doesn't, I will. Think of all the Hip-Hop money we'll be gettin'! Call me!

  5. Why in the world would anyone want to own the N word since itd be extremely racist to use it in any form. ..just don't tell democrats or they will though

  6. "Take Back" the term, de-power it as a slur.
    WHEN WILL NEW MEXICO NATIVES GET SWASTIKA BACK ?
    Nazis ~stole~ the goodness symbol Swastika, good people(around globe) should get their good swastikas back.
    Also, give back the MEXICAN STRAIGHT ARM SALUTE

  7. Can we trademark "Democrat" and "Republican", and then either charge them royalties to use it, or revoke their ability to use it?

    Or register the word "offended" and change the meaning. Then when a SJW says they're offended, you can authoritatively say, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  8. Just like people registering domain names hoping someone will pay big for “Cameras.com”, now we have investment in registered slurs.

    That’d be great. Just imagine the power being able to walk up to a KKK rally and be like “Ok, you owe me $1482.37 for using MY WORD”

  9. Would be nice if Vid Description had the SCotUS case name spelled out,
    for folks that like to research what they've seen on the internet

  10. 2015 : State License Plates CAN deny free speech
    2017 : Trademark Office CANNOT deny free speech
    2010 : Schools can deny students instrumental song because it is kind of religions and MIGHT offend someone <- TIME FOR MUSLIM TEST
    ~ Can a Texas school REFUSE INSTRUMENTAL MUSLIM RELIGION MUSIC because "it might offend someone" ~ ???

  11. "*****"
    "Dude, not cool. You don't have the N-word pass."
    "I'm sorry. How do I get one?"
    "WalMart, $25."

  12. I had this idea trademarking(or copyrighting) the N-word, because it pissed/pisses me off that f* n* seems to have the right to use the N-word and for a white guy like me it isn't. Not that I was planning to use it (often) but just the idea that I wasn't allowed to use it and they were just pisses me off.

    Just for the record any black person who uses the N-word is f* n*.

  13. This was an interesting topic. It would be interesting to see 2 White dudes filing for the Rights to the word Nigga, or did you mean the Version with the "ER" on the end of it? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know which one you guys meant. 😈
    One thing that irritates me is the Frickin' Redskins issue.
    I AM SO TIRED of the whole Washington REDSKINS Bullshit!!
    Nobody had any issues with the name to the point of changing it until some MORONIC LEFTIST WHITE DUDES brought it up as…Here comes the dreaded Quotes…"RACIST"!!
    As a Native American who has Loved the Washington Redskins since I was a Wee Lad I have NO ISSUE with the name.
    It seems like ONLY LEFTIST PIECES OF WHITE SHIT are the main ones with the problem. A MAJORITY of Native Americans, American Indians, or just Indians have no issue with the Redskins name.

  14. I don't like this guy one single bit. So far 0 for 3 on understanding freedom of speech or why the court rulings he's talking about (such as the one in favor of the Slants) were 100% correct. The united states government has no right to restrict the speech of individuals in the form of censoring their registered trademarks. Literally everyone from Reason to the ACLU recognized the SCOTUS decision was correct. This guy is clueless.

  15. Dumbest question award goes to this guy. " Do you think the Redskins will go for a trademark for a more derogatory term." That assumes Redskin is a derogatory term to begin with. Im sorry but being called white skin or "white" is not derogatory nor is being called black skinned or "black" derogatory so why the hell would redskin be considered derogatory???!? And what would be considered " more derogatory? Dumbest and most misleading question i have ever heard.

  16. Personally, I'd rather buy my coffee from the F***N*****C*** coffee place, than Starbucks. Hopefully, there wouldn't be any queer hipsters.

  17. trademarks n-word, for good measure also trademarks other variations used often like the one with the -a at the end
    makes policy that lets white people use it/them for free but black people have to pay

  18. Logically, of course, probably not a good idea to allow the trademarking of common words, slur or otherwise. Otherwise, you'd get fools trying to trademark prepositions like "the" or "and".

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