Mom behind ‘Success Kid’ meme files cease and desist against Rep. Steve King

Mom behind 'Success Kid' meme files cease and desist against Rep. Steve King

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The mom of “Success Kid,” the empowered toddler who has become a popular meme, has filed a cease-and-desist letter against Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa for alleged copyright infringement. 

With his fist raised and a determined expression on his face, then-toddler Sam Griner was transformed into a meme shortly after his mother, Laney Griner, posted the photo on Flickr in 2007. According to the Flickr caption, the photo was taken in Jacksonville by his mother when Sam was just 11 months old.

Griner registered the copyright on the photo in 2012, according to the letter. But for more than a decade, the meme has been used countless times, including by the White House in 2013 to push changes in immigration laws.

When the Florida woman noticed King had used the meme of her son in fundraising efforts, she took to Twitter to protest the usage: Griner tweeted Thursday that King is a “vile man” and that she did not give permission to either him or his “disgusting party” to use her son’s image to promote his agenda. 

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