It's been awhile since the Super Bowl, when Beyoncé marched across the field with dozens of leather-clad women in formation, speaking out against police brutality, reminding people of the Black Panthers and causing rancor among police unions across the country.
So just in case you forgot that Beyoncé basically runs the world, we got a little reminder this week when Queen Bey filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against the Texas company "Feyonce."
The lawsuit claims that Feyoncé has capitalized on the fame of both Beyoncé's trademark name and her famous song "Single Ladies" to sell T-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with the fiancée/Beyoncé misspelling. This has apparently caused the otherwise fierce and unstoppable celeb "irreparable harm," and so she is seeking an as-of-yet-undetermined amount in monetary damages from the punny entrepreneurs behind the San Antonio-based Feyoncé. The suit also asks that they cease their business immediately.
To make the copyright infringement case, Beyoncé's New York lawyers give the Manhattan-based judge a quick primer on just how famous Beyoncé really is. They refer to her as "one of the most successful artists in the world," an "international fashion icon and influencer" and the "source of widespread unsolicited media attention wherever she goes." They write not once, but twice, that Beyoncé has "adorned the cover of hundreds of magazines...including Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vogue, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair, to name just a few publications."
But equally important is the fame of "Single Ladies," "a song considered by many critics as one of the best of the decade," her lawyers explain in the petition filed Tuesday. They note that its music video has more than 468 million views on YouTube "and is regarded as one of the best videos of all time because of its intricate choreography." They say the song has been likened to Arethra Franklin's "Respect" and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." And as a result of its fame, the lawyers say, whenever consumers hear "put a ring on it," they think of Beyoncé and "Single Ladies."
Put another way, how dare anyone else create merchandise that reminds people of that song? The lawyers describe Feyoncé's actions as "malicious," saying "defendants’ deceptive conduct is harming the public in addition to harming Plaintiffs and their brand." Harming the public.
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Just in case you'd forgotten just how good "Single Ladies" really is, here you go:
Read the lawsuit here: