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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
I'm sure this topic has been discussed elsewhere in the forum, but I wasn't able to find what I'm looking for.

My dilemma is that I have created a T-shirt design about my favorite college sports team. It doesn't contain the official school colors (not even close). The only part that concerns me is that I have used a letter that signifies the team. I didn't steal the font, I drew the letter from scratch, but it does look similar to the one you would see in an official logo for the team. I don't want to sell the shirt. I want to make a couple of them for my wife and I. Could this get me in any trouble?

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give.
 

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If you're not selling it and just making a few for yourself, it's probably ok in that it's hard to imagine you would get caught.

But you should understand that reproducing a trademark could be considered infringement regardless of intent, quantity, distribution and usage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How do colleges own copyrights to a specific letter? Seems a bit silly to me. I have a single "Y" in my design in a blocky style. It's not the same font as Yale or BYU uses, so can those schools really have a blanket copyright on a letter?
 

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Colleges don't own the rights to the letters, they own the rights to their logos and marks. In some cases those logos and marks are letters. But they don't own the exclusive right to the letter in all fonts, colors and styles. Oftentimes, these logos and marks that consist of just a letter cannot be federally registered. The colleges own the marks as common law trademark based on usage in commerce.

If the "Y" in your design is not infringing on any schools, it's probably ok. Dave's analogy is right on target. Even if it is technically illegal, you're unlikely to be challenged if it's just a couple of shirts for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys,

I've decided based on what I've seen that it's not copyright infringement. If I were to walk around New Haven, CT with this t-shirt, people would think it's about Yale, whereas if I walked around UT, people would think it's about BYU. I think it's generic enough not to be considered infringement, so I think I'll go ahead and do it.
 

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It's like Ripping files for your mp3 player from a CD, technically illegal, but unlikely to be challenged.

United States
On the whole, it is legal for an individual in the United States to make a copy of media he/she owns for his/her own personal use. For instance, making a copy of a personally-owned audio CD for transfer to an MP3 player for that person's personal use would be legal.
 

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United States
On the whole, it is legal for an individual in the United States to make a copy of media he/she owns for his/her own personal use. For instance, making a copy of a personally-owned audio CD for transfer to an MP3 player for that person's personal use would be legal.
Of course, I speak for the old world. :)
 

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ha-ha. Didn't see that. So let me try to right this.

In the United Kingdom, making a private copy of copyrighted media without the copyright owner's consent is illegal: this includes ripping music from a CD to a computer or digital music player.[8][9] The UK government has made proposals to allow people to make copies of music for personal use.[10]. According to one survey, 55% of British consumers believed ripping a CD to be legal, and 59% admitted to doing it.[11][12].
 

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Hi
i'm new To t-shirt printing i just purchased a t-jet dtg printer and need designs, jpegs words . how to find good sellers and stay away form bad sellers. thanks :p
 
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