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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to all this so my questions may seem somewhat basic, please try to understand.

- What copyright laws do I have to follow? If I am creating T-shirts with just text, do I have to be careful? As long as I don't use company slogans directly as is, I think I am alright, correct?

- Do I have to register as a business to sell T-shirts? Or can I just make them and sell them online as if I'm just selling my stuff (i.e. eBay)

- Do blank T-shirts come without labels, no indication of the manufacturer? or do I have to have to get them removed if I want custom labels?
 

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- What copyright laws do I have to follow?
All of them :)


If I am creating T-shirts with just text, do I have to be careful?
It might be a good idea to do a trademark search to make sure the phrase or text you want to use is not already trademarked.

As long as I don't use company slogans directly as is, I think I am alright, correct?
That's not always correct, but if you are getting close to a company's trademarked slogan, you may want to talk to a lawyer.

- Do I have to register as a business to sell T-shirts? Or can I just make them and sell them online as if I'm just selling my stuff (i.e. eBay)
You'll have to check your local laws. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce and maybe SBA (Small Business Association).

Some places you can just start selling, some places might require an official business structure to be registered.

Registering as a business helps when you are trying to get a merchant account to accept credit cards, and when you want to have things (like check payable) to a business name instead of your personal name. It can help to keep your finances separate.

- Do blank T-shirts come without labels, no indication of the manufacturer? or do I have to have to get them removed if I want custom labels?
Most blanks come with labels in them (I think it might be a legal requirement), but many people just remove the manufacturer label and have them relabeled with their own brand name's custom label.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks!

- where can I do a trademark search for phrases, etc.
- are there any online t-shirt wholesalers that will remove the labels and put custom labels on for you? or at least remove them for u ?
 

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where can I do a trademark search for phrases, etc.
There's a link to the uspto trademark office in the left hand sidebar of this website. It says "trademark search".

You can also find out more info on trademarks by clicking on the word trademark in your post and following the link to "frequent questions about trademarks".

- are there any online t-shirt wholesalers that will remove the labels and put custom labels on for you? or at least remove them for u ?
Wholesalers don't usually do this for you. It would usually be done by your screen printer or a local seamstress. Some people do it themselves.

If you are buying t-shirts by the 1000's, some manufacturers will relabel their blanks for you at the factory (like AlternativeApparel, RoyalApparel, Jericho Sportswear, Continental Clothing, etc).
 

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Rodney said:
mantra78 said:
What copyright laws do I have to follow?
All of them :)
That's exactly what I was going to say :)

Rodney said:
Most blanks come with labels in them (I think it might be a legal requirement)
It's a legal requirement that clothing sold to an end consumer has a label; in the US this must include care instructions, full company name or RN, probably fibre content (don't recall for sure), and country of origin on the front of the label.

There's no reason a manufacturer couldn't sell blanks without branding; the only branding they would require is the RN, which means nothing to 99.999% of end consumers anyway.

In Australia if you are passing goods between processers (i.e. wholesale) not intended for the end consumer, you don't have to have the goods individually labelled (though care instructions, etc. must still be provided with the articles). I don't know if the same is true in the US or not.
 

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mantra78 said:
- Do I have to register as a business to sell T-shirts? Or can I just make them and sell them online as if I'm just selling my stuff (i.e. eBay)
Legally, yes. Pratically speaking, if you're not doing large volume you can pretty much go under the radar. Without registering, however, you'll run into some problems such as obtaining wholesale resources.


mantra78 said:
- Do blank T-shirts come without labels, no indication of the manufacturer? or do I have to have to get them removed if I want custom labels?
Manufacturers will provide you with tagless shirts, but from what I've seen, only on minimum orders of 3,000-5,000. It's more practical to just buy a pair of scissors and start cutting.
 

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4Bviper said:
Manufacturers will provide you with tagless shirts, but from what I've seen, only on minimum orders of 3,000-5,000. It's more practical to just buy a pair of scissors and start cutting.
Practical, but tacky:eek:

Also, many will relabel with minimums much lower than what's stated above. Royal Apparel will do 60. And since mantra asked about relabeling, this is probably more practical.;)
 

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hongkongdmz said:
Are copyright laws the same in the UK then?
No.

The UK are signatories to the Berne Convention, and they do have very similar copyright laws, but international copyright law can vary slightly from country to country (and obviously some countries simply don't recognise the concept at all).

In practical terms laws applicable in one country are highly likely to be applicable in another, but you would need to check the local laws in order to be sure.
 
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