Honey Badger DOES Care

In the video “Honey Badger Don’t Care” the narrator walks the viewer through the activities of the ferocious honey badger sharing comments like, “The honey badger is really pretty badass. It has no regard for any other animal whatsoever” and generally explaining that pretty much no matter what happens, “the honey badger doesn’t care.”

But there is one thing that the honey badger, or at least its creator, does care about: copyright and trademark infringement.

It appears the retail outlet Hot Topic, recognizing the popularity of the Honey Badger video, released a number of items incorporating the Honey Badger theme, including shirts that state, “I’m Badass Like a Honey Badger,” and “What Would A Honey Badger Do?” The creator of the video, Christopher Gordon has objected and filed suit.


The video is a parody of traditional nature videos, and the complaint complaints about parody T-shirts of a parody video. Also keep in mind the trademarks and copyrights of Christopher Gordon do not include the phrases on the T-shirts. However, the reading of the compliant reveals that Hot Topic did more than merely incorporate the now pop-culture honey badger icon. It appears Hot Topic shared the related video through media outlets and co-promoted Gordon’s videos through its Facebook and Twitter feeds along with its goods, thus directly and intentionally trading on the honey badger video itself.

At the end of the day this is likely going to end up with Hot Topic claiming a version of the “but I found it on the Internet” fair use defense.   But once again, just because you can get something online for free, does not mean it is free.

(Insert Cheap Hot Topic / Hot Water Pun Here)

The video, part of a series of farcical wildlife narratives may be viewed at Christopher Gordon’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

Before you discount the value of such a video, consider that with advertising rates of $0.01 – $0.25 per view, this video has 72m+ views.

The complaint and exhibits: Gordon v. Hot Topic, 15-cv-02372, C.D. Cal, 2015.





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