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Discussion Starter #1
Evening all.

Here's a controversial thought for you. How do you feel about reporting t-shirt sites for copy infringment? So many websites and eBay stores have stackloads of illegal t-shirt prints out there.

Would you report them? Have you? Should you?
 

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monkeylantern said:
Evening all.

Here's a controversial thought for you. How do you feel about reporting t-shirt sites for copy infringment? So many websites and eBay stores have stackloads of illegal t-shirt prints out there.

Would you report them? Have you? Should you?
Well i'm a big believer in karma and "Do unto others". If i'm reporting because I genuinely care about the copyright owners rights, then i'd report. If i'm doing it solely to get them in trouble in a hope to thwart sales, then I don't think its ok. Ask yourself this: would I care if they weren't competition? If the answer is no then I think I'd move on.

Besides, I think it's the duty of copyright owners to continually check to make sure they're work isn't being duplicated.

Is this a theoretical situation or are you contemplating doing this monkey?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
sarafina said:
Is this a theoretical situation or are you contemplating doing this monkey?
No, no, no. I'm far too laid back and friendly to even contemplate doing it. I'm not even sure how you would, outside of of eBay, go about reporting people.

The thought came up because I was reading a thread on the eBay US forums about just this. A guy was boasting about how he'd taken down his biggest rival by reporting his copyright infringment to their owners, who in turn contacted eBay, and took down all their auctions.

He was being heartly congratulated on the board for doing this.

Although I don't agree with copyright infringment, using that to claw your way up the business mountain seems pretty vile to me. Tricks of the trade are fine. Dirty tricks are not.
 

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Yeah, that's a very touchy situation! Creatively speaking, there are so many ways of "knocking" off a design & not have to worry about getting sued, but I think for many uncreative people, who are looking to make a quick buck, the easiest thing to do is to copy something & slap in onto a shirt! When I do see see something that is infringed upon I just don't support whoever is selling it! Unfortunately in today's society, bootlegger are looked at as heroes to society since they save people money on unlegitimzed goods, most people just don't care! Part of me wants to blow the whistle, because when my stuff is out there, I would want someone to tell me!

Is it really that much work getting licensed permission to use someone's image or artwork? The worst that could happen is they say no or they may want a percentage of your sales!!! You'll still be getting money instead of getting shut down!

Just my opinion!

NARC72

LIFE•LOVE•TRUTH
 

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monkeylantern said:
Here's a controversial thought for you. How do you feel about reporting t-shirt sites for copy infringment? So many websites and eBay stores have stackloads of illegal t-shirt prints out there.

Would you report them? Have you? Should you?
An interesting quandry.

For me the answer to "have you?" is sort of. Someone on eBay copied one of my listings (word for word and took the picture) for a non T-shirt item (a camera).

I reported it because they were infringeing on my copyright specifically.

I then noticed they had copied other listings, so I tracked down a few of them as well and reported those. In this case it wasn't a matter of vengeance or copyright, it was that I thought the seller was likely committing fraud. That said, I did it very specifically because I wanted the seller shut down.

It was at this point that I found out eBay refuse to do anything about copyright infringement unless the actual owner of the material in question contacts them. It's an interesting policy since I'd say it's extremely dubious legally (they can claim to be an ignorant carrier if no-one tells them, but once an item is reported I would have thought that would make them a knowing publisher and an accessory... but hey, I'm no lawyer).

The point of this little illustrative example is that in some cases I (clearly) would report infringement.

That said, I'd be very careful before I ran out doing things like that, lest it backfire.

While I never outright steal anything copyrighted, I do occasionally play in that dubious grey area so much falls into which is by no means guaranteed to stand up in court. Thanks to the wonder of post-modernism that's the society we live in - if your material is contemporary you run a decent risk of occasionally rubbing a little too close to the law.

It should be obvious from these forums that I have a tendency to get on my moral high horse, especially on copyright issues, but I am quite weary of the caltrops of karma (how's that for a clunky metaphor?). One day I just know my hypocrisy is going to bite me on the a**.

I definitely wouldn't go after anyone too hard, because you never know what will be your undoing. Even if you're above board on copyright, maybe you'll inspire them to find some way to take you down (legal or otherwise).

While I agree with you that underhand business tactics are generally vile, I think that blatant copyright theft (e.g. the people who outright copy Threadless designs and sell them on eBay - no grey area stuff here) is a whole lot worse. Anyone doing that deserves everything they get... well, everything except the money from the sales. Anyone doing that deserves everything they get that isn't money... well, except the positive feedback. Anyone doing that deserves everything they get that isn't money or positive feedback... well... let's just say I hate plagiarism. ;)

NARC72 said:
Is it really that much work getting licensed permission to use someone's image or artwork?
Yes. Yes it is. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A fair view.

Problem is, people often think alike.

I remember my sadness a few years ago when I discovered that one of my rare ventures into the "slogan" shirt already had an identical brother. It was a Che Guevara shirt, with a caption along the lines of "I have no idea who this man is, nor represents, but I think he has a cool beard"...it was selling on a small site then, but has since become something of a big hit. I curse Che's name everytime I see something similar on the street and think of the holiday to Fiji it could have bought me....
 

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Busted Tees ran Che with the caption "I have no idea who this is."

Coincidentally, it was through googling around to find somewhere I could buy that shirt that I found these forums (Busted Tees stopped selling it).

There are grey areas like that, but there are still plenty enough that are completely black and white.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Solmu said:
Busted Tees ran Che with the caption "I have no idea who this is."

Coincidentally, it was through googling around to find somewhere I could buy that shirt that I found these forums (Busted Tees stopped selling it).

There are grey areas like that, but there are still plenty enough that are completely black and white.
Sadly, my Che will no doubt now also have passed away. Leaving a screen in a lock-up garage for 4 years does that. Maybe there can be a one-off Solmu shirt knocked up at some point :)

I doubt I'll ever list it, given that it's now a little cliché (or a cliché on a cliché, if you get the drift....post-post-post-modern, or something like that....or pre-futurist....)

Incidentally, and I know this has nothing to do with this topic, but I just found Defunker.com and love them! Not sure how I've managed to miss them, especially as they list at Threadless.
 

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monkeylantern said:
Incidentally, and I know this has nothing to do with this topic, but I just found Defunker.com and love them! Not sure how I've managed to miss them, especially as they list at Threadless.
Yeah, Defunker is one of my favorite site! It's put together so well! I love seeing the design worn & the price when you roll over the design!

NARC72

LIFE•LOVE•TRUTH
 

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Discussion Starter #10
NARC72 said:
Yeah, Defunker is one of my favorite site! It's put together so well! I love seeing the design worn & the price when you roll over the design!

NARC72

LIFE•LOVE•TRUTH
I'm trying to resist stealing the concept :)
 

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I think as a member of the t-shirt community, if you see someone ripping someone, you need to at least tell the original creator of that work so they can take action. Then at least it's on them to defend their work and rights.

When I see other people being ripped, I tell the original owner when possible. I think we all would want the same treatment for our own designs.
 

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Sometimes it isn't so clear who stole from who, though, which makes telling the creators rather difficult. (Or its possible both sides independantly came up with the same or very similar ideas as well...)
 

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There is a thing known as spontaneous independent creation and it is an actual legal defense for coming up with the same idea as someone else at the same time independently. But when you see a site that has more than one similar design to other more popular sites, you know their stealing. Virtually every design of mine has been stolen and put on eBay or cafepress sites and even sites that have advertised here. I have even come across people who just steal the actual graphic from my site to use on their own!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
crakbot said:
There is a thing known as spontaneous independent creation and it is an actual legal defense for coming up with the same idea as someone else at the same time independently. But when you see a site that has more than one similar design to other more popular sites, you know their stealing. Virtually every design of mine has been stolen and put on eBay or cafepress sites and even sites that have advertised here. I have even come across people who just steal the actual graphic from my site to use on their own!
Heh....I've discovered two of my designs, which were original ideas, have been sold deep in the bowels of the 'net for a while. I've never used the screens yet, and so they were spontaneous independent creations....but I have no intention of using them now.

They'll face the pressure washer and descreener now, I'm afraid :(
 
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