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"HIP HOP" now a trademarked and licensed term

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by OMARNYCAKASW1, Apr 1, 2003.


    OMARNYCAKASW1 Senior Member

    Joined: Apr 10, 2000 Messages: 1,385 Likes Received: 1
    by Davey D

    It looks like the Hip Hop community now faces its biggest challenge.
    Forget police task forces or discriminating night club owners, folks
    will now have to gear up to do some serious battle with a Los Angeles
    businessman named Richard Gonahangya and his company America Media
    Operative Inc. For those who don't know AMO Inc is a little known
    company that specializes in lobbying Congress and advising government
    officials on media policy. They yield a lot of influence over the FCC
    and other agencies that determine policy. The word around town is
    'what they say goes'.

    Gonahangya a staunch conservative, held a small press conference in
    Compton, Ca yesterday to announce that his company AMO Inc had
    recently trademarked and brought the rights to the word/phrase 'Hip
    Hop'. As a result they will soon start charging a licensing fee for
    anyone who wishes to use the word in a commercial/ for profit project.

    Taking advantage of a provision in the recently amended Millennium
    Copyright Act of 2001, Gonahangya explained that he and his company
    have all the legal ammunition and clearance to own the rights to the
    phrase 'Hip Hop'. He noted that the Hip Hop industry has generated
    over 20 billion dollars last year in the United States alone. The
    phrase Hip Hop is now a powerful marketing tool and his company is
    posed to profit handsomely in 2003 from its 'proper' usage. The new
    licensing fee is estimated to net AMO Inc a whooping 5-8 billion
    dollars a year.

    "Any business including record labels, videos, radio stations or
    television shows that use the phrase 'Hip Hop' in the title or
    marketing body of their work will have to pay AMO Inc a licensing
    fee", Gonahangya told reporters. 'We are not attempting to stifle
    free speech or muzzle popular culture.. we have no legal grounds from
    preventing anyone who wishes to use the word in everyday speech,
    however if you are using the word in a manner that associates you with
    a salable product, then we fully intend to collect our fee".

    Gonahangya went on to explain that what he is doing is not unusual.
    There are many popular words that are used in everyday conversations
    that are trademarked and cannot be used in commercial ventures without
    permission. 'The word 'Xerox' is often used interchangeably with
    'copy'. The word 'Vaseline' is used interchangeably with lotion or
    grease. he also explained that the word Rock-N-Roll is trademarked by
    a major label record executive who at the time could not charge a
    licensing fee.

    Gonahangya laid out his company's strategy for 2003. He explained
    that AMO Inc is giving record labels and performers a one month grace
    period to get their business affairs in order. Starting in May
    letters will be sent out to anyone who is using the term 'Hip Hop'
    explaining that the word is now trademarked and that if they wish to
    continue to use it in the body of their work, they will have to
    register with his company and be assessed a licensing fee. Letters
    have already been sent to several Hip Hop internet websites with more
    to come. He estimated the average fee will be anywhere from 2-5
    thousand dollars plus residual fees per project. Permission to use
    the word will be on a case by case basis. In addition any future
    projects released using the term ' Hip Hop' will have to have the 'TM'
    symbol next to the word.

    When asked if he felt AMO Inc was being exploitative and attempting to
    blackmail a viable popular culture, Gonahangya bluntly stated; 'This
    is not about culture. This is about business... The laws have been
    set up for anyone and everyone to use. Our company took advantage of
    what was on the books for almost a year and that what we are doing is
    now perfectly legal... Hip Hop is a big multi-billion dollar a year
    business. I was surprised that a big executive like Russell Simmons
    or Clive Davis or even business savy rappers like Jay-Z, P-Diddy or
    Eminem never trademarked the phrase. Everyone in America knows that
    you don't do business without protecting your assets. It's just plain
    stupid not to leave yourself this wide open.. If the Hip Hop
    community is that dumb when it comes to business then too bad. Don't
    make me out to be the bad guy".

    When asked if he intends to share any of the profits from licensing
    the word 'Hip Hop' with any of Hip Hop's pioneers including Lovebug
    Starski who first coined the phrase back in the lates 70s or Afrika
    Bambaataa who popularized and spread the word, Gonahangya laughed. 'I
    never heard of a Mr Starski and as for sharing profits with people
    from Africa..No my people are originally from Denmark, Norway.

    When another reporter told Gonahangya that Afrika Bambaataa was
    someone's name, Gonahangya shrugged it off and said he had no
    intentions of sharing the profits with anyone but his company and his
    family." However, he did offer a discounted licensing fee for Starski
    and Bambaataa since they coined and helped popularized the term.

    When asked if there would be any sort of criteria set up to determine
    who will and will not be allowed to use the phrase 'Hip Hop',
    Gonahangya explained that for most part if a company has the money and
    a viable revenue stream for residual payments then it should be a
    'piece of cake'. As for criteria, Gonahangya explained that he has
    very little tolerance and respect for individuals and companies that
    are attempting to use the phrase Hip Hop for political gain.

    "Recently the term 'Hip Hop' has been positioned as a
    progressive/liberal movement. That's unfair and a totally one-sided
    approach to what is an American institution.Hip Hop is for everyone.
    It is not a slick political campaign tool for Jesse Jackson, Al
    Sharpton or Hillary Clinton.", he retorted

    Gonahangya became evasive when asked if he would allow the term Hip
    Hop to be used by any of the conservative organizations that he
    regularly associates with and lobbies for. " To be honest we have not
    ruled them out. We believe that Hip Hop needs to be politically
    balanced. For years Hip Hop has been associated with liberal causes
    that have totally undermined the moral fiber of this country. We will
    be very selective as to how Hip Hop will be used politically", he said

    Gonahangya continued; "I will assure you this... In the future you
    will not be seeing billboards or magazine ads with the words 'Hip Hop'
    and Reparations, 'Hip Hop' and Affirmative Action or even 'Hip Hop'
    and Black Power anytime soon. If it hasn't come through our offices
    and been granted a licensing fee then its existence will be in
    violation of the Millennium Copyright Act of 2001 and we intend to
    aggressively go after any violators and prosecute. This about
    political integrity and money".

    Some our speculating that Gonahangya intends to use his ownership of
    the now trademarked term 'Hip Hop' to quiet down any sort of political
    movement that has been organizing around the term in time for the 2004

    We caught up with Greg Watkins webmaster of the popular site
    allhiphop.com and he noted that he had received a letter from
    Gonahangya's AMO Inc company earlier this month. "He told us in the
    letter that we were in violation of his this trademark law and that me
    and my partner Chuck would have to pay licensing fee if we wanted to
    keep the word 'Hip Hop in our name. We checked with our lawyers and
    found out that we were safe because we are allhiphop and not just 'hip
    hop'. It's obvious these guys are serious about collecting their

    We caught up with long time Bay Area writer and Hip Hop deejay Billy
    Jam who does the Hip Hop Slam radio show and has the website Hip Hop
    Slam. "Yeah this attorney contacted my attorney and said I would have
    to take the 'Hip Hop' out of Hip Hop Slam or pay a fee if I want to
    continue doing business. At first I thought it was a joke and then
    days later I received a subpoena to show up in court. I was told if I
    don't remove the word Hip Hop from Hip Hop Slam or pay a licensing fee
    then I could lose my house, my car and my prized record collection".
    Normally I don't give a damn about such things, but I can't afford to
    lose my records", Billy Jam said

    We caught up with popular Bay Area rapper /writer JR The Rap Slanger
    out of East Oakland. He said: " Look man, this country's always been
    about business and fools is gonna try and collect their paper. But
    this is straight up bullS%$T. How's this fool gonna try and trademark
    a word and collect a fee? Brothas need to rise up and retaliate and
    put a foot in his ass. But let's be honest, me personally I don't
    have to worry because I'm not really Hip Hop. I rap. I'm a rapper.
    There's a difference between rap and Hip Hop. I guess Hip Hop is
    gonna die but rap is gonna go on forever! He didn't trademark the
    word Rap did he? "

    As far as I can tell the word rap is not trademarked. Nor can it be
    because of it's long standing everyday usage.

    We checked with famed NY copyright attorney Arnold Esquire Sullivan
    and he soberly explained that the new provisions that have been added
    does indeed give AMO Inc the right to trademark and collect a
    licensing fee for use of the word Hip Hop and any other coined
    'unique' phrase. If the word is made up or unique to the American
    lexicon then it can be trademarked and people will have to pay a fee
    if they wish to use it in any sort of business endeavor.

    Sullivan explained the new amendment went through around the same time
    they were crafting the Patriot Act. "It's a shame people went to
    sleep on this. I hate to say this but Negroes had better wake up and
    start smelling the coffee. These people in Washington are not

    Sullivan concluded by noting that failure to comply with the new
    trademark laws can result in serious economic repercussions and a
    stiff 5 year prison sentence. He noted that the stiff prison sentence
    came after music industry executives and software companies lobbied
    congress for harsher penalties for bootleggers and other 'copyright'
    thieves'. "Unfortunately this new trademark law as it pertains to the
    phrase Hip Hop can potentially land people in jail if they try to make
    a profit off it', Sullivan noted.

    At the end of the press conference Gonahangya explained that he is
    currently in negotiations with a major broadcast company so that they
    will have the exclusive rights to the word 'Hip Hop'. Gonahangya
    declined to name the outlet that he is dealing with, but he did note
    that should everything work out according to plan this media outlet
    has vast resources and will set up offices throughout the country and
    help determine which projects and products will be allowed to use the
    term 'Hip Hop'. Gonahangya refused to say whether or not it would be
    an outlet like Clear Channel, Viacom or Emmis that would be
    determining who can or cannot use the word 'Hip Hop'. "It would be
    premature for me to give out that information", he said

    It is clear that big corporations and government lobbyist now own Hip

    Gonahangya also reiterated the fact that he is extending a month long
    grace period. He also used the occasion to pitch his new licensing
    service. In what appeared to be a real cheesy move he stated that he
    was offering a one time discount for the next two weeks. He explained
    that he understands that there are a lot of non-profits that use the
    phrase Hip Hop in literature and other marketing schemes and as a
    result they will be granted a one time 500 dollar processing fee and
    will subjected to the similar constraints of their 501 non profit
    status. That means they can not use Hip Hop as a political marketing

    Non political Independent record labels and artist can obtain a
    lifetime license to use the word Hip Hop for 500 dollars. Gonahangya
    explained that he believes in doing things for the community and this
    is his way of giving back.

    "Let it not be said I don't care for the underdog", he said. AMO Inc
    is all about helping the downtrodden. We normally charge on average
    of 5000 thousand plus lifetime residual fees, but because we care
    about the little people we will offer Hip Hop [TM] for 500 dollars
    licensing fee for the next two weeks.

    If anyone wishes to fill out an application to see if you qualify to
    use the term 'Hip Hop' in your product or if you want more information
    on AMO Inc call them at 1-800-233-456
  2. ¹º¹º¹¹º¹¹¹º¹

    ¹º¹º¹¹º¹¹¹º¹ New Jack

    Joined: Dec 19, 2002 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 0
  3. iloveboxcars

    iloveboxcars 12oz Royalty

    Joined: Jul 29, 2002 Messages: 20,506 Likes Received: 450
    hahahahaha, that was a good move. kinda like the registering of celebrity names... i need a good idea.
  4. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2000 Messages: 6,979 Likes Received: 2
    that just seems so unfair.
    AMO certainly has no legitimate claim to the ownership.
    And didn't KRS already register the 'temple of hiphop' thing?

    It's called 'fair usage' you bastards!

    The recording and usage rights are owned to 'Happy Birthday'
    but it's not like the police raid your little barty if you start singing.
  5. iloveboxcars

    iloveboxcars 12oz Royalty

    Joined: Jul 29, 2002 Messages: 20,506 Likes Received: 450
    well, you can say "hip hop" all you want.. just like you can sing the birthday song.. you just cant put it on any items you intend to sell without prior agreement and most likely payment to AMO.

    i still think it's a great idea.
  6. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2000 Messages: 6,979 Likes Received: 2
    but my issue is why does AMO get the usage?
    you know the saying 'ownership is 9/10 of the law' ?
    Well I seriously doubt AMO has %0.00001.

    Imagine if a major company bought your name and your look
    then told you that it would cost you to be what you already were.
    A movie came out called 'the life of david gale' starring Kevin Spacey.
    Imagine being named David Gale?
  7. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    I kept looking for someone to say that..
  8. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,278 Likes Received: 238

    you cant trade mark everyday shit like that, no matter how much people would like to.

    Richard Gonahangya
    dick 'gon a hang ya'

    c'mon people.... 5-8 BILLION dollars off the usage of the word alone?
    id be surprised if the combined sales of the major labels netted 8 billion a year off of hip hop music, let alone the name.
  9. fr8lover

    fr8lover Elite Member

    Joined: Oct 22, 2000 Messages: 3,919 Likes Received: 1
  10. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2000 Messages: 6,979 Likes Received: 2
    I'm going to copyright the 'tag'.

    yep... any 'tag' or feeble aptempt at a 'teg' will have to be cleared by my screening comittee.
  11. Weapon X

    Weapon X 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Sep 6, 2002 Messages: 14,905 Likes Received: 202
    that's what I noticed, too. Does Davey D do humour pieces? Is this real, or just a 'what if' type of thing?
  12. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 178

    KING BLING Guest

    Those things are good fr'eal
  14. DREDZ

    DREDZ Senior Member

    Joined: Dec 14, 2002 Messages: 1,934 Likes Received: 0
    Hell nah! Damn. You kats got me wit that one. I was ready to whip dudes ass. *[applause]*