Is "Yankees Suck" copyrighted?
January 26, 2009 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Is the phrase "Yankees Suck" copyrighted? Presumably the kids who made the Yankees Suck t-shirts own the logo, but what about the phrase?
posted by lulululu to Law & Government (7 answers total)
You can do an online search of the US Copyright Office.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:43 AM on January 26, 2009

Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. Registered trademarks can be found at the U.S. Trademark Search page. Unregistered trademarks won't show up, though, and can still be enforced.
posted by pengale at 7:51 AM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

(Forgot to add: even if it were trademarked, that wouldn't prevent you from going around saying it... though it might prevent you from printing it on some kind of product. IANAL.)
posted by pengale at 7:53 AM on January 26, 2009

(Incidentally, the logo would get a trademark, not a copyright, as it's the combination of words + design)
posted by mkultra at 8:11 AM on January 26, 2009

You can do an online search of the US Copyright Office.

That will only show you registered copyrights. In the United States copyright protection is granted at the moment a copyrightable expression is fixed in some medium -- registration is not required for protection to vest.

But, uh, no, as pengale said, You can't copyright a slogan.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:23 AM on January 26, 2009

A little off topic and this may be what inspired you to ask in the first place, but the two guys who made those t-shirts are featured in a This American Life episode because they used the money they made to go to Iraq in 2003 or 4 and had some crazy - but ultimately tragic - adventures there and it was on NPR this weekend.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 10:21 AM on January 26, 2009

toomuchpete and pengale have it right . . . and not to put too fine a point on it, copyright protection does not extend to facts. expressions are copyrightable, but ideas and facts are not.
posted by deejay jaydee at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2009

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