Denise Whiting’s crass effort to control use of a Baltimore regionalism
by Dan Rodricks (The Baltimore Sun, 12/11/2010)
Anyone who ever had an inclination to do so should get all their family members sweatshirts or T-shirts invoking “Hon” in some way: “Merry Christmas, Hon,” “Happy New Year, Hon,” “Welcome to Bawlmer, Hon,” and, to drive home the point, “You Don’t Own Me, Hon” (off the 1964, Hon-era Lesley Gore song). That’s my suggestion for a unified public response to Denise Whiting’s crass effort to own a Baltimore regionalism — take away the local market for her wearable Hon merchandise by springing for some custom-made sweats and T’s for our next of kin.
Let her try and put a stop to that.
I won’t go into the legalisms, the whole business of Whiting making “Hon” a trademark so that no one can use it for any public or commercial endeavor without her permission or — despite her denials of profit motive — without paying her a fee. I’ll leave that for the lawyers and the intellectual property experts.
The response to Whiting’s move has been so strong and negative — so much so that you wonder if Café Hon’s owner has squandered the good will she’d established with her customers. Here’s why: You can’t own something that doesn’t belong to you. You shouldn’t be allowed to control use of something that has been in use by Baltimore’s extended family for years.
Continue reading “You Don’t Own Me, Hon” at The Baltimore Sun.
Lesley Gore – “You Don’t Own Me” (link via takebackhon.com)