Can 'Crying Michael Jordan' get you sued?
The Crying Micheal Jordan Meme was by far one of the best things to come out of 2015.
Social media kingpins relentlessly attack famous people across the globe at their weakest moments with a crying MJ meme centered around their latest blunder.
It's pretty low, but I must say, it's pretty damn funny.
"It just seems to have an appropriateness for so many different circumstances," said Andrew Selepak, director of the social media graduate program at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. "That face can be used for a meme for a number of different levels, whether it's sports or non-sports related. But because of the passion people have for sports, I think it has legs like few other memes that have been popular in the past."
It's had an amazing amount of staying power, and like most things that have this type of power, often comes dollars. So when money gets involved, who owns the rights to this? Could a person be sued over the Crying meme? The Associated Press could pursue legal action if it believes its copyright of the image has been violated. "We own the rights in our photo, which was taken in 2009," Associated Press spokesman Paul Colford wrote in an email to ESPN.com. "We could enforce those rights depending on the use and other factors, as is the case with all AP photos."
Likewise, Jordan spokesperson Estee Portnoy recently implied that the basketball icon's camp is keeping a close eye on usage of the meme. "We haven't seen anyone using it to promote their commercial interests, which is something that we're monitoring," Portnoy wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune.
So be careful about letting loose a signature Crying Micheal Jordan meme, it could cost you some dollars down the line.