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Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor Kevin J. Greene interviewed by Wired on memes and intellectual property law.

March 1, 2017

Gather round, ye olds, and thrill to a tale of yore. Summer 2014, to be exact. The place? Vine (RIP). The hero? A Chicago teenager calling herself Peaches Monroee, who uploaded a video in which she described her eyebrows as “on fleek.” Yea verily, Peaches Monroee’s neologism spread far and wide. Ariana Grande jumped on board, as did Kim Kardashian. Brands, not surprisingly, were next. And lo, when iHop and Taco Bell use a slang term, a Forever 21 crop top can’t be far behind. Even rapper/flat-earther B.o.B got on the act, proclaiming himself “Fleekwood Mac” on his song “Fleek”. But to this day, despite enterprising companies cashing in on the phrase’s “YOLO”-level popularity—“on fleek” hats have adorned multiple celebrity heads—its originator hasn’t seen a cent. To read more, click here.