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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone..wanted to say hi and maybe get a little direction on my venture...

Im just about finished my website..it's modeled after t-shirt hell but I've used a lot of my own with my offensiveness for most of the material...I have used shirts from all over the net as well but have done all my own designs.

I have hired models/makeup artsits and photographers to shoot next week to give the site my own look and feel. Im pretty excited at this point..I don't need this site to make me a lot of money, Im having fun with it. But I have no idea what to expect for revenue. Was also thinking about doing a few shows..bike shows/cars shows/sex shows etc..

Im doing DTG printing on only American Apparel shirts to keep the quality up. That is an important aspect to me.

My costs on a printed shirt wil run me $14 after 100 are printed.

I have used other shirt slogan's about 30% but have made my own look and design to them..not sure what copyright is..can't be to stiff as I have seen lots of designs of the same slogans..most of my work is original...I can't feel good about protecting my designs when I have used some other folks ..

ie: "Slavery Get **** Done"I didn't use this but have seen it everywhere -
what the deal whit the copyright on that?

Any thought/suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated...
 

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But I have no idea what to expect for revenue
It's pretty impossible to say. You haven't mentioned anything about how you plan to actually market or advertise your products.

You could lose a lot of money, or you could make millions (or anywhere in between). That's just impossible to predict :)

Im doing DTG printing on only American Apparel shirts to keep the quality up. That is an important aspect to me. My costs on a printed shirt wil run me $14 after 100 are printed.
Are you talking about printing 100 of the same design using DTG? If so, I'd suggest you look into screen printing, because you'll get a MUCH better price per shirt for 100 of the same design using screen printing as opposed to trying to do it DTG.

If you're going the DTG route, the benefit there is that you don't *have to* print a bunch of t-shirts in advance. You can print a few for your photo shoot and then just have the DTG printer print the t-shirts as the order comes in.

I have used other shirt slogan's about 30% but have made my own look and design to them..not sure what copyright is
If you're not sure what copyright is, you should stop what you're doing right now and take the time to learn.

The money you may think you're saving by not coming up with your own original designs could go out the window pretty fast if you are sued for taking someone else's ideas.

Just because you see *other people* doing it or seemingly "getting away with it", doesn't make it a good idea for you to do.

I would suggest sticking with your own original designs or spending some money on an intellectual property rights attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Being a graphic designer Im sensitive to the copyright issue. I have used a few saying's I've seen in a ton of spots..the ones I used I thought fit in with the attitude of the site. I will look into it more..thx. I din't mean to say I don't know what copyright is..even though it sounded like it.

for example..how is this going on?
http://www.cafepress.ca/+slavery_white_tshirt,419234238
http://www.zazzle.com.au/slavery_gets_****_done_tshirt-235131516008497211
http://www.tshirthell.com/funny-shirts/slavery-gets-****-done/
http://www.stylefeeder.com/i/g8kyn1mq/Slavery-Gets-****-Done-Shirtseek-Com

DTG is my choice for the reason you stated..right now Im only printing to order..a few at a time. Once I build some capital up I will look at screen printing for sure..

Thanks for the great info..
 

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Im just about finished my website..it's modeled after t-shirt hell but I've used a lot of my own with my offensiveness for most of the material...I have used shirts from all over the net as well but have done all my own designs.
If your site and theme are similar to T-Shirt Hell, and your shirts are similar to others all over the net, it seems like you are really entering a saturated market. Nothing you are doing is really original. Sure, the designs may be different, but to the average consumer, your site is going to come across as 'been there done that.' To compete with existing brands, you are going to have to spend a ton of marketing dollars and do major SEO just to get noticed.

My costs on a printed shirt wil run me $14 after 100 are printed.
Those costs are pretty high. What is your expected retail price going to be?

I have used other shirt slogan's about 30% but have made my own look and design to them..not sure what copyright is..can't be to stiff as I have seen lots of designs of the same slogans..most of my work is original...I can't feel good about protecting my designs when I have used some other folks
Designs are eligible to be copyrighted. Slogans are eligible to be trademarked. But it is considered very difficult to trademark a slogan for use on t-shirts unless the slogan is specifically used as part of the branding or marketing. So that's why it is common to see the same slogan on multiple sites as part of multiple designs. Now this doesn't mean anyone can use any slogan without any risk. First use in commerce is usually the barometer in claiming ownership. So if anyone wants to claim ownership of a slogan or design, they can start filing lawsuits at any time. If 30% of your designs contain slogans already in use, you should consult an attorney before launching.

ie: "Slavery Get **** Done"I didn't use this but have seen it everywhere -
what the deal whit the copyright on that?
As stated above, slogans need to be trademarked, not copyrighted. Since it is mainly used as a design, not part of any branding or marketing, no one has probably tried to trademark it. Hard to imagine the USPTO being too fond of granting federal registration on this though.

Being a graphic designer Im sensitive to the copyright issue.
I must admit, I chuckled a little bit when I read this. You have already stated:
"it's modeled after t-shirt hell"
"I have used shirts from all over the net"
"I have used other shirt slogan's about 30%"

Doesn't sound too sensitive to me.

for example..how is this going on?
Cafepress, Zazzle, etc, try their best to filter out copyright and trademark infringements. But it's really up to the IP owner to take action. Perhaps these aren't considered infringements for some reason. Perhaps lawsuits are being filed as we speak. It doesn't really matter. Just because it is out there, doesn't make it legal for anyone to do it. And just because one person doesn't get sued, doesn't mean another person won't.

If you want to know the legalities, consult an attorney. If you want to find justification, you've probably already found it.
 

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for example..how is this going on?
That's kind of like saying, why are there people speeding in the fast lane :) Some people get caught, some don't.

Here's a good quote about why you might see people that seem to be "getting away with something"

Solmu said:
The usual story:
  • Some do whatever they want and wait for the cease and desist letter (and hope the company doesn't skip over it)
  • Some can afford lawyers to defend on the basis of parody, etc.
  • Some are in the process of getting sued and losing
  • Some are in the process of getting sued and winning
  • Some are just lucky and not getting caught
  • Some are just lucky and not getting caught... yet
  • Some will plan to settle out of court
  • Some are ignorant of the law and don't realise the world of hurt that is coming
  • Some are carefully staying on the right side of the legal divide
  • Some are carefully staying on the right side of the legal divide, but will be sued anyway, and unable to afford an adequate legal defense even though what they were doing was theoretically legal.
In other words, some are getting away with it, some aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can uderstand how that sounds..being "modeled after" Does not mean copy...they influenced me more that anything....actually 90% of the sites I looked at had a very similar layout..it works. But that's where it stops.

I should correct myself in saying I have used shirts from all over..I haven't used ANY designs..my 30% number was for sayings I thought were funny..not really copyright stuff by what you and other have posted..all desighs are original...

It is a saturated market, I agree. I'm going to give it a go still.
 
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