It is no secret that I am a Barb but this post will remain unbiased.
Recently Nicki Minaj and Christina Milian got into a mild spat over the phrase Pretty on Fleek.
Apparently Christina owns an online boutique that sells clothing with popular sayings on them. One of the recent shirts say Pretty On Fleek which is a line from Nicki’s song featuring Beyoncé titled Feeling Myself.
Nicki made a joke about this by saying on her Instagram:
“Fleek by Onika – I saw Christina selling tshirts that say Pretty On Fleek, I was waiting on my percentage at the door! *tilts head*”
To be fair, Nicki did say Pretty on fleek on the track. However, the real person who is owed a percentage is the person who started this “On Fleek” era.
What can learn from this?
The person who started “on Fleek” probably had no idea it would take off as fast and as far as it did. But, it did.
Remember, the the lovely folks of social media don’t owe you homage. They can screen shot or imitate what you do and there is no guarantee you will always be credited for your work. Unless you own it. Then you can sue them.
For example: Ms. Ester Jones aka Baby Ester, African-American entertainer from the 1920’s, was known for her singing style that often included a “Boop oop a doop.” After Helen Kane imitated the style and called it her own, cartoonist Max Fleischer created the Betty Boop character. Kane tried to file a lawsuit against Fleischer only for the courts to decide that Kane was not the orginator of the Betty Boop style. Ester Jones died before she was able to receive any monies from the lawsuit that proved she was the original Betty Boop.
You have to protect yourself and your brand. I recently had a meeting with Keya Crenshaw, Founder and CEO of Black Chick Media, who informed me that copyright and trademark are two vital parts of a small business that most people forget about. It is true that it is an extensive and costly process, however, it’ll be all worth it in the end!
Have any copyright and trademark tips for entrepreneurs? Share with us so that we can inform our readers.