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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While in college, my friend took a sport t-shirt and changed it into a halter top. Can we get in trouble if we buy tshirts with logos and names on them, alter them and sell them? Most likely the tag would be removed during the reconstruction of the shirt, not to be shady, but just for the simple fact we wouldn't work with the area where the tag is.
Or I bought an Old Navy tank top and glued rindstones to it that spell out bride...if I sold this, would I get in trouble?
Hopefully this isn't a very stupid questions, but I just don't know! :)
 

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Yes you could potentially get in trouble for that. A blank t-shirt can be altered and resold, but altering a shirt with another companies logos and names then reselling it as your own is quite possibly illegal. Not exactly sure though.
 

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Its my understanding that if you buy a licensed product and add to it your safe as you paid the license fee. I don't remember where I read this but John Deere sued someone for cutting their logo from a shirt up and sowing it on a pillow case. John Deere lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the replies! All the opinions and knowledge I get are very helpful!
The point in "destroying" the tshirt would be to make a different looking shirt, using whatever is already on the shirt...printwise
 

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You would have the right to resell a branded shirt that you originally purchased personally. However, many of these companies (Old Navy, etc) print certain colors on certain styles of shirts to enhance their image. While changing the shirt style, adding rhinestones, technically may not be copyright infringement, you could get in trouble from the company by altering their intended "image".
 

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you have already paid for the item. there should be no reason that you can't use this substrate as your own blank canvas for art.

I do know that Champion clearly states in it's buying section that you can't use their shirts for printing any pro or collegiate materials without both the schools (or organization), and Champion's permission. This is mainly to reduce their liability from any pro and collegiate licensing organizations.
 

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Champion is known for school and pro shirts. There talking about usage of the shirts with there tags. I don't think were talking apples to apples. If you buy a Harley logo shirt you own it, if you embellish it and resell it its no longer there product. I think it was Mark that said I'm not a lawyer I just play one on TV...lol
 

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Probably best for the OP to consult a lawyer. May not even cost anything if done by phone as a single Q. I asked alot of Q's for free when I was trying to decide to become SP or LLC. It's worth a try. :)
 

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Blank shirts... do whatever you want with them.

Shirts that a company has a trademark invested in... in theory you could alter them however you want and sell them (basically the first sale doctrine), but reality doesn't work that way. All of the above well meaning posts about what you should be allowed to do aren't worth much if you get sued.

Case in point: Crown Farmer vs. Urban Outfitters (that's not a course case, just a description :)). Urban Outfitters bought a large amount of shirts from Crown Farmer. The shirts were controversial, and UO bowed to public pressure and took them off the shelf. A while later, UO cut up the shirts, printed a red 'anti' circle over the design, sewed them onto the back of blazers, and put them back on the shelf. They legitimately bought the goods and owned them, so in theory modifying them and selling them was perfectly legal.

CF alleged trademark infringement. Despite the fact that there was no CF trademark on the design, and that as distinctive as it may or may not have been, there's no way the general public could have known to associate it with CF - a company most would never have heard of. It was covered on many internet blogs, and UO was consistently made out to be the bad guy (not helped by their history of actually being the bad guy).

It was terrible for their publicity, and again they bowed to pressure and removed the item rather than enter any legal dispute (which they may or may not have won).

UO was the larger company of the two, and they still lost out on this one. But as the potential David in this situation it still doesn't give me the backing to think I could take on Goliath.

If GAP wants to sue you they can. They won't necessarily win, but unless you've got a great lawyer and put in a tidy counter claim even winning can be expensive for the little guy.
 

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I agree with kelly check with a attorney and be sure. I have experience with copyright stuff and it's not fun when they decide to come after you. I was lucky, but i know of another wasn't .They lost everyrhing in the battle and still owe thousands. I will opt for better be safe than sorry. If you have to a few hundred is better than a few hundred thousand any time . ... JB
 
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