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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry in advance as I am a newbie here.

Browsing through several T-shirt companies online I noticed several site sell either the same or similar designs and a lot of material comes from movies or TV shows etc. For Example the Speaker City T from the movie Old School. So I am wondering, do you have to acquire licenses to sell T's that are based on ideas from movies or TV etc?

If I wanted to create a design with a Chuck Norris joke on it (which I would never ever do) Is it cool to just go ahead and do it?
 

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You would need to negotiate a license with the owner of the intellectual property in question. There are so many variants out there because some designers don't bother - the result of which is sometimes their financial ruin, or success, depending on (un)lucky they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So to what extent are t-shirt designs copyrighted? Can you possibly give me an example of a company who has done things the right way, and/ the wrong way? Thanks a lot for the quick reply,
Cheers
 

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So to what extent are t-shirt designs copyrighted?
The same extent as other graphics / illustrations / etc.

Can you possibly give me an example of a company who has done things the right way,
I believe 80stees.com is official and above board.

and/ the wrong way?
I know of one successful shop that I don't believe is licensed (they weren't when they started, so I doubt they are now), but 1) I wouldn't want to accuse them of that in case I'm wrong (which I doubt), and 2) I wouldn't want to do anything to help them get sales. I've seen them covered by major t-shirt press though - most of them just don't give a **** if t-shirt labels rip-off major companies, it's only when it happens the other way around they get involved.

Places like Snorg Tees and Busted Tees rip some stuff from movies. They'd probably claim it's parody (not that that's a solid defense anymore anyway), but it isn't. They might work out deals behind the scenes we don't know about, but I have my doubts. For all I know they're legitimate though.

All kinds of cease and desist letters fly around behind the scenes, and companies do pull stock. Sometimes it's not cost effective for a movie studio to sue a t-shirt label. Sometimes they'll do it anyway to make an example out of them.

If you want to deal in the grey area of quasi-legal (and it's not all just flat out illegal - it gets complicated) then you need to hire a lawyer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot, I'm not really interested in ripping anyone off I just want to be careful not to inadvertently step on anyone's toes. About copyrighting logos and images how do you go about doing that? and does it need to be done at all?
 

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