T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Taking into account that none of us that I know of are attorneys, have you ever heard of someone facing legal actions when using a last name or first name on a tee??. I was thinking of some designs but recalled Spiketv being sued by Spike Lee, eventhough the channel's content had nothing to do with him. I believe that he won that lawsuit. I just wanted to hear your opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Re: Your input

Something such as " Wade is my homeboy". It is a somewhat general last name but I am afraid that it will be taken like I am talking about the basketball guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Re: Your input

Hello,
i am not a lawyer,but i think its perfectlly legal.It's just like saying "mikey is my homeboy" Anybody's name can be mickey.Again,i am not a lawyer just trying to play one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Re: Your input

thanks for your input folks. You are right, Spike did settle but personally I thought that it was somewhat silly, just my two cents =). I think that things such as " You're fired" can still get you in trouble. I know that people like Michael Buffer and his " Let's get ready to rumble" statement do make it a legal entity that defines their being and status. The wonderful world of laws.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Re: Your input

"This is a very popular topic on the forums. Everyone has an opinion on this, however, none of them matter. You need to speak with a lawyer who specializes in copyright/trademark laws. Two-hundred people on this forum could post and tell you that it's perfectly legal to do but that won't help you WHEN (not if) you get taken to court."

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
Re: Your input

TeeShirtSamurai said:
"This is a very popular topic on the forums. Everyone has an opinion on this, however, none of them matter. You need to speak with a lawyer who specializes in copyright/trademark laws.
I couldn't agree more! When in doubt, speak to a pro.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,957 Posts
Re: Your input

TeeShirtSamurai said:
"This is a very popular topic on the forums. Everyone has an opinion on this, however, none of them matter. You need to speak with a lawyer who specializes in copyright/trademark laws. Two-hundred people on this forum could post and tell you that it's perfectly legal to do but that won't help you WHEN (not if) you get taken to court."

:)
I almost completely agree. It is also very possible that something be completely legal. Forum members advise that it is legal. And you not be taken to court.

But for the most part, if one has a question of the legality of a certain subject, if you really want an answer, there is plenty of info on the web (government sites, free legal advice sites, etc) so that if you were to search you could make a very informed decision about lots of legal matters.

I would also like to point out that lawyers disagree on legal matters all of the time. This is usually why cases go to court. So they don't have all of the answers, either. You could very well take legal advice, and still get sued! Happens all the time.

Find out as much as you can about a topic. Even consult with an attorney, if you are so inclined. But it still comes down to making an informed decision.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,700 Posts
You could very well take legal advice, and still get sued! Happens all the time.
However, if you had prior legal advice, then the lawyer giving you the paid advice is likely to know enough to back up your claim in court.

Asking a lawyer helps a couple of ways:

1) You get a definitive answer. While the judges may ultimately decide, I think an OK from paid legal advice will go a longer way than just looking up information online.

2) In the case that it comes down to a judge and you still get sued, a lawyer is good to have to help you defend your case.

Even if you've done your own research, if you get sued, it's still good to have a lawyer on your side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
You could ask this question at;

http://forum.freeadvice.com/forumdisplay.php?f=39

It's a free legal advice site but still as everyone said the best thing to do is "ask your own attorney" as we are not attorneys so we would only be speculating.

Just want to point out that although that site is a legal advice site what they say on that board is not to be considered legal advice.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,957 Posts
Rodney said:
However, if you had prior legal advice, then the lawyer giving you the paid advice is likely to know enough to back up your claim in court.

Asking a lawyer helps a couple of ways:

1) You get a definitive answer. While the judges may ultimately decide, I think an OK from paid legal advice will go a longer way than just looking up information online.

2) In the case that it comes down to a judge and you still get sued, a lawyer is good to have to help you defend your case.

Even if you've done your own research, if you get sued, it's still good to have a lawyer on your side.
I get what you're saying. My point is that it's always best to find out as much as you can. Whether that's library, 'net, attorney, etc. I would never blindly take anyone's advice, even an attorney, because in the end, it's my responsibility and I'm going to be the one paying for a bad decision. Not my attorney.

Even in legal matters, I find out as much as I can, so that I can make an informed decision about whether an attorney is even competent enough to be my attorney. If my attorney tells me something like: "just mail your design to yourself, and if you get sued, we'll use the unopened letter in court!" I'm going to run as fast as I can, because I know that he doesn't know what he's talking about. This is something I could find out about on my own. Just one example. But there are many things that are readily available, if one would just take the time to find out about.

So my point is, you find out everything you can. Then you make an intelligent, informed decision. Because in the end it is you that has to deal with the consequences/rewards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Rodney said:
1) You get a definitive answer. While the judges may ultimately decide, I think an OK from paid legal advice will go a longer way than just looking up information online.
I've gotta disagree with you Rodney. A lawyer can not give you a definitive answer on whether or not somebody will sue you for copyright/trademark infringement. A lawyer can give you their interpretation... and although I agree that their intrepretation may have more merit then joe bagadonut's intrepretation, it is still an interpretation.

After the research I've done thus far, I've found that anyone can sue you for any reason and that costs money. Money for lawyers to defend you, money if you lose. We live in America.

For the particular question in the first post of this thread, I'd be more leary of "Teenage Millionaire" then Dwayne Wade. I heard that they feel like they own the ______ "is my homeboy" catch phrase because their "Jesus is my homeboy" shirts took off.

http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/stayfree/2005-February/000096.html
http://www.orthodoxanarchist.com/2004/12/ip-freely.php
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,700 Posts
I've gotta disagree with you Rodney. A lawyer can not give you a definitive answer on whether or not somebody will sue you for copyright/trademark infringement.
You're not disagreeing with me, I never said that :)

A lawyer WILL be able to tell you if something is within your legal rights or if it is a gray area, or they will be able to tell you the likelyhood of you winning a lawsuit against you.

That's why big corporations have to run everything by legal team before it goes to print. The laywers tell them if they are more likely to run afoul of the law or if the should be good based on the lawyers understanding of the laws.

People can sue you over anything, but with a lawyer, you will have someone to help you defend yourself. If you went to a lawyer in the first place, explained your situation and they said that you could probably win a case, then if (or when) you get sued, that same lawyer will have facts and cases behind them to help defend you.

To get back to the original question. If I go by the "what would cafepress do" theme, then they allow it on a case by case basis. They allow a lot of first name celebrity stuff because as another poster said, it could be any "Wade" or any "Martha". When you start adding first and last names, that's when you start running into right to publicity issues in my non-legal opinion :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Rodney said:
People can sue you over anything, but with a lawyer, you will have someone to help you defend yourself. If you went to a lawyer in the first place, explained your situation and they said that you could probably win a case, then if (or when) you get sued, that same lawyer will have facts and cases behind them to help defend you.
I guess we are on the same page, then. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys for your input. I like to hear different opinions before doing something. I do take into consideration that none of us hold a law degree. You never know who has run into this issue so I appreciate your opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
TenaciousTees said:
Thanks guys for your input. I like to hear different opinions before doing something. I do take into consideration that none of us hold a law degree. You never know who has run into this issue so I appreciate your opinions.
yea man. Understanding that we're not all lawyers, I think its still cool to post links to info regarding current lawsuits between companies in question.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top