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Discussion Starter #1
So, I recently (last few days) was forced to remove my Hugs Not Drugs collection...notified by Family Life International, Inc who apparently owns the rights. Not a big deal...i'm not looking to do anything illegal...however, i'm curious to see if they're going to force urban outfitters to stop selling their line as well.
 

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Interesting. I've been curious about how most companies go about enforcing their licensing rights. Some people say they send a cease-and-desist letter. Others say most companies jump right into suit proceedings.

Can you give us some more info on how they contacted you and what was said?

Thanks!
 

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ph0yce said:
Others say most companies jump right into suit
proceedings.
I am guessing whoever told you this has never had any dealings with copyright infringement. I have gotten cease and desist orders from both Burger Kind and Coca-Cola. They were very polite yet stern in their requests. I would venture to guess that most corporations would rather handle these matters without great circumstance.
 

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I wonder what the second letter would sound like? LOL
 

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Dicktees.net,

How long had you been selling the Coca-Cola and Burger King parody shirts before they contacted you? Also, how long did they give you to remove them from your site? How similar were your shirts? Did you think it was an unreasonable request?

Thanks for the information.
 

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ph0yce said:
Dicktees.net,

How long had you been selling the Coca-Cola and Burger King parody shirts before they contacted you? Also, how long did they give you to remove them from your site? How similar were your shirts? Did you think it was an unreasonable request?

Thanks for the information.
The two shirts had been on our site for a couple of months. The letters came within a week or so of each other so I am guessing one companies lawyer contacted the other. Afterall, BK does sell Coke products. We were asked to remove the merchandise at once and send a certified letter answering a series of questions regarding sales of the shirts, quantities, profits, etc. We were also asked to surrender existing merchandise. Since we print all of our shirt to order, we were not sitting on a pile of shirts. All in all it was an easy process and the candor of the law offices could not have been more professional. As far as similarity... you would have to look twice at each to determine they were not the actual logos. I do not think that the requests were unreasonable at all. I would have been a lot more upset had we been holding cases of the parody shirts in question. If we weren't a print to order operation I would probably not even consider doing parodies of major corporations fearing loss of profit.
 

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monkeylantern said:
Good! :)

Nasty corporate bullies...
We also had not sold large quantities of these shirts. I am guessing that the more of a copyright infringing image you sell, the more sensitive a corporation might become.
 

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Nasty corporate bullies...
I wouldn't call them "nasty bullies" at all.

We get posts all the time from the independent seller trying to trademark or protect their idea/name so people can't steal it. That's all coke/bk did. As trademark holders they are required to "bully" (enforce) their trademark or they can lose it.

Nobody wants people making money from their brand. Big corporation or small guy with 25 shirts in the garage.

Companies always send a cease and decist letter first, before taking legal action.
Actually, this is not *always* the case. That's usually how it happens, but I've heard about cases where some law firms have skipped the cease and desist (not sure why) and have moved straight to the lawsuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
sorry, it's taken a few days to get back. my shop is a CP shop so CP was contacted and the images removed. However, I was given contact info for the people who contact CP in the event that I wanted to contact them directly. Personally, i'm fine removing it if they own the rights. however, i'll be upset if Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters is allowed to continue selling them while I can't.
 

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BurnTees said:
Personally, i'm fine removing it if they own the rights. however, i'll be upset if Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters is allowed to continue selling them while I can't.
Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters probably have lawyers that will fight or challenge those lawsuits (or they may be in the process of removing them from their stores)

Since you aren't selling the t-shirts yourself (using the third party cafepress fulfillment), you are kind of bound by the rules of CafePress.

CafePress (or any fulfillment) has to be a bit more strict than the actual laws because they don't have the funds to fight every lawsuit that might come from having millions of instantly created products. They can't be seen as profiting from intellectual property infringement.

If you wanted to print the merchandise on your own, you could probably still sell them for a while, but like dicktees, you'll probably get your own cease and desist that you would need to respond to and the lawsuits would go to you instead of the fulfillment company.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
DFras said:
however, i'll be upset if Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters is allowed to continue selling them while I can't.

Remember, they may have permission to sale items with this design.[/QUOTE]

could be...i plan on contacting the group and finding out. it's bad enough that they're making a ton off my mother's favorite saying :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Rodney said:
Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters probably have lawyers that will fight or challenge those lawsuits (or they may be in the process of removing them from their stores)

Since you aren't selling the t-shirts yourself (using the third party cafepress fulfillment), you are kind of bound by the rules of CafePress.

CafePress (or any fulfillment) has to be a bit more strict than the actual laws because they don't have the funds to fight every lawsuit that might come from having millions of instantly created products. They can't be seen as profiting from intellectual property infringement.

If you wanted to print the merchandise on your own, you could probably still sell them for a while, but like dicktees, you'll probably get your own cease and desist that you would need to respond to and the lawsuits would go to you instead of the fulfillment company.
oh, i know...probably the only bad thing about having a CP shop. but at the same time, i'd rather not have a situation where i'm sued and have to pay my own legal fees. I'm just curious to see how this plays out.
 

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Rodney said:
I wouldn't call them "nasty bullies" at all.


I have no problem with people defending their intellectual property (I was involved with a case a few years ago when a pretty high end magazine stole a friend's article without accreditation).

I do, however, have an issue with the persecuation of parodies. If you're a big fish, you've put yourself up there, and should expect to take a few potshots (as long as they aren't slanderous).
 

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Rodney said:
Actually, this is not *always* the case. That's usually how it happens, but I've heard about cases where some law firms have skipped the cease and desist (not sure why) and have moved straight to the lawsuit.
Because they don't respond to the desist. I'm the middle of one right now! We chose not to respond because it gives us better posture!

 
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