As Kotaku reported today, 24-year-old Carlos Ramirez has apparently made over $100,000 from licensing the troll face image he created and uploaded to 4chan back in 2008. Yeah, this guy:
That image, which Ramirez doodled and uploaded to 4chan when he was supposed to be doing a college paper, has likely now made Ramirez more money than Moot has made directly from the site. Sure, 4chan founder Christopher “Moot” Poole gets compensated for talks and appearances, but 4chan is a tough place to advertise.
Part of making money with the troll face image, which Ramirez started doing since he trademarked the image in 2010 at the insistence of his mother, is protecting the brand. As such, Ramirez has had to battle with several entities that attempted to profit by using his brand for free. Of course, cashing in also could be seen as a potentially controversial move with the notorious open source-loving denizens of 4chan. But so far the business move has seemed to work out for the young man, who at the height of the troll face’s popularity was cashing major checks from the likes of Hot Topic.
While the trend of troll face has slowed somewhat, Ramirez still benefits off the deceptively simple drawing that gets him paid.
Good work if you can get it.