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Friends and Enemies - Mr. Jon Rosenberg's Ice Cream Cavalcade and Boozatorium [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
jon rosenberg

[ website | goats ]
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Friends and Enemies [May. 19th, 2006|03:14 pm]
jon rosenberg
[Current Mood |vengeful]
[Current Music |Cracker, Shameless]

UPDATE: The owner of the company in question has emailed me to tell me that he's taken down the bootleg t-shirts. I consider the matter closed at this point. Thanks for all your support and kind words, but please don't bug this guy anymore, he has done the right thing.

Looks like there's a t-shirt company (no links, I don't want to promote the bastard) that has copied my Republicans for Voldemort design and is making their own identical counterfeit t-shirts (selling 'em for two bucks more than we are, as well).

The owner doesn't seem to see a problem with this. Since I'm using the name of someone else's character on the shirt, he feels it's his right to copy my design and use it as well.

Thing is, we know that Warners and Scholastic folks know about our merch. They've bought dozens of shirts from us at a number of conventions, and told us that J.K. Rowling herself would most likely find it amusing. I don't know how much stock to put in that, and I'm not going to email the lady to ask her. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. That said, they seem to have left us alone to do our thing. Plus, I'm of the opinion that our shirt is genuine political speech and parody, and as such should be protected speech (I'm aware that current legal opinion does not always agree with me on this point).

This guy, though? Most of his shirts are blatant copies of IP from large, lawyer-infested companies. Hasbro, Nintendo, just about every movie studio in existence. Just straight-up knockoffs, no original thought or designs at all.

It's kind of an interesting situation. You've got a spectrum of legal grayness here, and one could say that if you're going to use someone else's trademarks in your design, even as a parody, you get what you deserve. In my mind, the difference is that my design is transformative. His is a xerox copy with no added value. Regardless, he's right. There's not much I can do about it.

But what he did was super-shitty. I asked nicely if he was interested in buying shirts from us, or licensing the design, and he pretty much told me to go to hell. I'm not a huge international conglomerate, here. I depend on my creative skills to put food on the table, and you shouldn't get between a hungry dog and his food dish.

I might not be able to take legal action myself, but I'm guessing that all those big-money companies would love to hear about this guy's operation.
LinkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: also_huey
2006-05-19 07:40 pm (UTC)
[voice type="Jerry Seinfeld"] Release the hounds!
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[User Picture]From: seeker_ix
2006-05-19 07:47 pm (UTC)
sell that bastard out.
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[User Picture]From: gaminfiend
2006-05-19 08:09 pm (UTC)
yanno, the physical store that they have is in austin... i could go kick some butt and take some names. i'm not making a living off of my work but I still think that stealing another's intellectual property is shitty. I mean, the least they could do is come up with their own design...
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[User Picture]From: diablochicken
2006-05-19 08:28 pm (UTC)
I'm sure complaints from customers would find more receptive ears than my meager attempts to communicate.
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[User Picture]From: frobisher
2006-05-19 08:17 pm (UTC)
Huh. What an asshole. Can we have him tortured?
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2006-05-19 08:22 pm (UTC)
That depends. Does the land he's living on contain oil?
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From: reallife2010
2006-05-19 08:45 pm (UTC)
Last resort; let lose your fans on his website, Im sure they would tear'em appart.

Copyright infringment is never cool.
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From: dbonner
2006-05-19 09:03 pm (UTC)
googled looking for the dirtbag...is it the ebay guy?
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[User Picture]From: _xenogenesis
2006-05-19 09:05 pm (UTC)
This guy deserves to have his ass handed to him, so he can wear it as a hat and live up to my opinion of him. Barring that, someone should smear honey in his jockies and then dump in a cup of fire ants.

...Hm? Me? Mean mood today? What makes you ask that?
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From: kntckyfrdbnbn
2006-05-19 09:29 pm (UTC)
I say post about it on site, in a newspost or whateverthefuck. Utilizing the magical power of Google and attacking anything even remotely threatening, your rabid fans (myself included) shall violently eviscerate the opposition.

And, going on the assumption that it is that dick on eBay - presumably, if eBay recieves enough complaints, in great numbers and with great swiftness, about the seller with evidence that he is, indeed, an unoriginal cockbite, something may be done about it. Though eBay has a history of attracting pricks with access to printing services and no morals whatsoever in regards to intellectual property or the work put into art and design.

Anyone who thinks finding something on Google image search makes it free needs to be shanked.
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[User Picture]From: roninspoon
2006-05-19 09:43 pm (UTC)
The road to hell is paved by dumbasses who don't understand copyright law.
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[User Picture]From: brutalentropy
2006-05-19 09:52 pm (UTC)
I bought that shirt for my g/f (from you of course)

death to anyone who steals from goats.com

You do realize we are your army, waiting for your word to attack this thieving bastard, don't you?
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[User Picture]From: diablochicken
2006-05-19 10:02 pm (UTC)
I do realize that, but we must wait until we see the whites of their eyes, so to speak.

It's best to do these things in proper order for maximum enjoyment.
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[User Picture]From: brutalentropy
2006-05-19 10:00 pm (UTC)
I sent him a question on the ebay page... it said "why are you stealing from goats.com? I hate you, you're a douche..."

I bet it will make him cry.

I mean, I stole some of your artwork for user icons, but I credit you on my icon info page... and I've told like 500 people about goats since I started reading... oh, and I don't make money off it. That, at least to me, is the lamest part of the whole thing.
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[User Picture]From: diablochicken
2006-05-19 10:03 pm (UTC)
I like it when people use the art for stuff like LJ icons, it's for personal use and like you said, you're not selling it to other folks and passing it off as your own. There's a huge fundamental difference.
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[User Picture]From: ericmonster
2006-05-20 12:22 am (UTC)
I hate pirate merch. I shut down an operation out of Seattle that was not only printing Fetus-X t-shirts, but using a picture of Fetus-X for their corporate logo. One of my readers at the art institute thre saw somebody wearing one of the shirts ...

... the really stupid thing about your situation is that they could have easily put just the slightest twist on it to make it not a total rip-off. Republicans for Sauron. Republicans for Green Goblin. Republicans for Satan. Republicans for Leatherface. Environmentalists for Hitler. Whatever.
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[User Picture]From: gaminfiend
2006-05-20 01:20 am (UTC)
interestingly enough, someone else has done that with the whole "voldemort votes republican" merch available of cafe press. however, that at least has original graphics.
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[User Picture]From: gaminfiend
2006-05-20 12:41 am (UTC)
is this something you could take to the BBB? Or is the issue of the use of the name Voldemort something that would potentially backfire and affect you as well?
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[User Picture]From: gaminfiend
2006-05-20 12:45 am (UTC)
btw.. the ebay dude responded with the following:


Nah, it's a complete and utter rip off of a bumper sticker I saw a few months back...I had never been to goats.com until I got an email from him the other day, asking me to license the design from him. I was intrigued, because I wasn't aware that he owned the copyright to the character Voldemort, and thought he had quite a large lawsuit on his hands against that JK Rowling person if he wanted to pursue it. He informed me that he did not in fact own the right to that character, at which point I asked him to bugger off.
Life is funny sometimes...
If anyone is interested in representing me, I swear I was the 1st guy to come up with the 'I'm with stupid' shirt design, and everyone owes me a whole lot of money.

dunno if that's something you can use in your efforts to get him stopped, but just drop me a line if necessary. I think the guy is a bit of an asshat because the bumper stickers have the website on them as well. (I saw one on a car a couple of weeks ago. It made me smile)
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-05-20 01:48 am (UTC)

copyright infringement?

To: legal@wb.com

Hello-
I was wondering if you were aware of the site- www.goats.com , which carries a line of Harry Potter "Republicans for Voldemort" T-shirts and bumper stickers. I ask this, because he has contacted sites also carrying "Republicans for Voldemort" product (all boot leg, I'm sure) demanding a licensing fee.

Now, I do understand you guys turning a blind eye to someone making a parody-type t-shirt based on one of your properties, but for someone to demand a licensing fee for something that doesn't belong to them, and in fact is based on one of your properties in the first place, seems a little over the top.

I thought I should draw this to your attention.

Thanks-

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[User Picture]From: kioku_jonny
2006-05-20 02:15 am (UTC)

Re: copyright infringement?

Parody is not Infringement.
and it's been made clear the license was for the graphic design, not the character name.

you cowardly nameless asshat.
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[User Picture]From: dana1witch
2006-05-20 03:45 am (UTC)
Your use of this is fair. His use isn't fair. Let us know if we can write anywhere to help against him.

Some people will use any quirk in the legal terms and definition to compensate for their own lack of creative imagination.
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