‘Out for a Rip’ is ‘ripped’

Rap­per says copy­right in­fringed upon

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CLASSIFIEDS / ENTERTAINMENT -

Bren­dan Rich­mond cre­ated a vi­ral sen­sa­tion with his hoser com­edy song “Out For a Rip” in 2013, but he was sur­prised to re­cently find his pop­u­lar catch­phrase grac­ing the side of a Coca-Cola bot­tle.

The Kingston, Ont.-based com­edy rap­per’s “Out For a Rip” video went on to rack up more than 12 mil­lion views on YouTube, con­vinc­ing him to trade­mark the say­ing that made it so pop­u­lar. That’s why he wasn’t ex­pect­ing to see it printed on the side of one of the world’s most pop­u­lar bev­er­ages at a Toronto gro­cery store.

“I just pulled it out of the cooler - and it was lit­er­ally in my hand be­fore I saw what was on it,” said Rich­mond, whose rap­per per­sona is B. Rich. “I def­i­nitely did a dou­ble take.” So he’s now re­leased a fol­lowup song, ti­tled “Out for a Sip,” on YouTube tak­ing the bev­er­age cor­po­ra­tion to task for us­ing “Out For a Rip” with­out his per­mis­sion.

The new video also fea­tures Rich­mond’s Toronto-based in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty lawyer Rob Kit­tredge - play­ing the role of lawyer John Buddy - who dis­cusses B. Rich’s le­gal rights.

Kit­tredge said he’s “old friends” with the per­former and they agreed that mak­ing a video would be a fun idea.

“I don’t have a lot of clients for whom this would be an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse,” Kit­tredge said.

“We had the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing to­tally cre­ative and my job is bor­ing, so this is an un­usu­ally fun way to write a de­mand let­ter for me.”

Near the end of “Out for a Sip,” B. Rich tells the com­pany he’d be happy with a set­tle­ment that in­cludes a truck­load of Coke dumped on his front lawn, tick­ets to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays, and a new pair of skates.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Coke said the com­pany has “reached out” to dis­cuss the mat­ter.

Rich­mond said his mu­sic ca­reer sky­rock­eted after the orig­i­nal video went vi­ral, but he be­came more savvy after notic­ing that peo­ple were slap­ping “Out For a Rip” on bumper stick­ers and T-shirts with­out his per­mis­sion.

So he sub­mit­ted to the Cana­dian In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Of­fice and re­ceived doc­u­ments that made the phrase legally his own.

“Those words have be­come such an in­te­gral part of my ca­reer and liveli­hood as a mu­si­cian,” he said.

“So to see it on this rather iconic prod­uct ... was shock­ing.”

The Coke bot­tle also fea­tures a scannable im­age which en­cour­ages cus­tomers to down­load an app to ac­cess an “Out for a Rip” Spo­tify playlist cre­ated by the com­pany.

It in­cludes bands like Holler­ado, Black Keys and Hot Hot Heat, Rich­mond said.

“Aside from not in­clud­ing the (‘Out for a Rip’) song it­self, it doesn’t jive with the es­thetic of ‘Out For a Rip,’ which is ru­ral Cana­dian, good ol’ boy fun mu­sic,” he added.

“In my mind I’d see ‘Life is a High­way’ by Tom Cochrane, some (Guns N’ Roses) and Bon Jovi.”

The mu­si­cal threat of lit­i­ga­tion had al­ready gath­ered more than 45,000 views as of Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

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Cana­dian Rap­per B. Rich is seen in this still frame from his YouTube video. Bren­dan Rich­mond cre­ated a vi­ral sen­sa­tion with his hoser com­edy song “Out For a Rip” in 2013, but he was shocked to re­cently find his pop­u­lar catch­phrase grac­ing the side of a Coca-Cola bot­tle.

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