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Who Dat Greedy?

Written by  Jeff Gonzales

Editor's note: The opinions presented in this article do not reflect the opinions of InthekNOwla.com. They are solely those of the author.

(InthekNOwla) -- Since we can just go around owning things nowadays, I think I might just go ahead and start laying claim to a, the, is, from, on, and me. Hell, while I’m at it, I might as well just go for all the damn prepositions and pronouns in the English language…I definitely would make BEAUCOUP money off of those!

Yes, I’m poking a little fun at the Who Dat controversy, but I gotta laugh or I just might implode from anger.

So here’s the run down: Steve Monistere of Who Dat, Inc. says he owns the phrase Who Dat. Therefore, vendors selling Who Dat merchandise would be required to comply with licensing agreements and royalty payments…yep, that’s right people, MONEY. If the vendor doesn’t comply, then no more business for you.

Most recently, Mr. Monistere has had Facebook shut down the Fleurty Girl Facebook page because of his impending lawsuit against the store. And he’s went one step further…now you can’t even have Who Dat as part of your Facebook name, for example, Jane WhoDat Doe. Seems like Mr. Monistere wants to play dirty now.

Ok Steve-o, we need to have a little conversation and I hope you can hear me way out there in San Antonio.

Yes Mr. Monistere, we understand that you want to get paid for what you claim is yours, but you’re forgetting an integral piece of the equation.  See, the PEOPLE of New Orleans, the Who Dat Nation, and everyone around the world that holds the phrase close to their hearts are against you! Just as we were united against the Colts during Super Bowl XLIV, we stand united again (and I’m sure you’ll remember how poor Indy held up).

It is exactly this kind of opportunistic greed that the good people of the region and the world abhor. It may be “just business” with you, but that doesn’t make it right. You claim that you’re a local boy, huh? Well, there’s a good saying that goes, “It ain’t where ya from, it’s where ya at!’ and since you’re already over there in Texas, take our advice…STAY THERE!

Now, Mr. Monistere isn’t claiming that he invented the phrase, only that he was the first to use it in commerce, thereby granting him the legal rights to the trademark…a trademark which is now expired. Hmmm….is it a coincidence that once the NFL tried to claim Who Dat as their own that the relatively dormant Who Dat Inc. surfaced trying to lay claim to it as well? In fact, Mr. Monistere absolutely saw the promise of a huge payday on the horizon and began actively pursuing the same course of action that the NFL tried to follow. And now, almost a whole year later, he’s still at it!

Monistere claims that the reason the enforcement of the trademark has surfaced (the same one that they let expire in the 90s) is due the spike in popularity this year as opposed to years prior. Hey, after living my whole life in this city, I never remember a time when the phrase wasn’t a popular saying. It’s always been: (1) a part of our language and culture; (2) our battle cry; and (3) our victory chant.

Steve, we don’t have a problem with you getting paid for your intellectual property. BUT, the problem is that Who Dat is NOT your intellectual property. We don’t say, “Who’s there?” when someone knocks on the door. We say, “Who dat?” When someone asks if we’ve heard about ya boy, we ask, “Who dat?” and so on and so forth.

Mr. Monistere likened his case to a hypothetical conflict between McDonald’s and Burger King where he explained that if Burger King started using “I’m lovin’ it”, McDonald’s would have an issue with it. Uh YEAH! McDonald’s coined the phrase directly as part of their marketing campaign. No one was walking around saying “I’m lovin’ it” in regular everyday speech prior to it being used as a slogan. If Mr. Monistere would have been the first person in history to coin the phrase and use it in business, then I would say that he absolutely has every right to the trademark, but that isn’t the case, is it?! Claiming you own the phrase is like claiming you own things like beaucoup or makin’ groceries or ya heard me.

They are owned by…wait for it…EVERYONE!

Yes Mr. Monistere, we stand united against you. So go ahead and send your letters! Go ahead and proceed with your lawsuits and we’ll go ahead with the production and sales of what belongs to the people and THE PEOPLE ALONE.

Now sue DAT!!!

Signed,
A loyal member of The Who Dat Nation
Last modified on Saturday, 22 January 2011
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