Banned!

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This t-shirt has been banned. cafepress.com removed it from my account. They said:

“We recently learned that your CafePress.com account contains material which may not be in compliance with our policies. Specifically, designing, manufacturing, marketing and/or selling products that may infringe the rights of a third party, including, copyrights (e.g., an image of a television cartoon character), trademarks (e.g., the logo of a company), “rights in gross” (e.g., the exclusive right of the U.S. Olympic Committee to use the “Olympic Rings”), and rights of privacy and publicity (e.g., a photo of a celebrity) are prohibited.”

My first thought was, do they think Bill is a cartoon character? But in fact, not only is use of the olympic rings prohibited but you can’t use the word “olympics.” They are both trademarks. See here for instance:

http://www.acluutah.org/olympictrademark.htm

So hang onto your t-shirts. They are collector’s items….and illegal.

—-Geoff

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2 Responses to “Banned!”

  1. Reader Rick Says:

    As you may recall, we had a little discussion about the ethics of that shirt, and the questionable ethics (and responsibilities) of the company that would print it.

    Having to police all these designs must not make the company very happy. And I wonder if that doesn’t make it MORE liable for trademark transgressions, rather than less…?

    Oh well. Imagine the plight of the people who have to go through those archives and decide if they are legal or not. (Especially if they have outsourced it to Bangladesh!)

    R

  2. Geoff Says:

    I don’t think they would have ever noticed. But I just did a t-shirt for Orsola’s birthday with a picture from Pirates of the Caribbean on it. They noticed that within one hour! That’s when they also noticed my Olympic transgressions. The funny thing is that even though they noticed the Johnny Depp picture right away, they didn’t stop the t-shirt from being printed and shipped. Apparently, one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing….

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