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You know you're onto something good...

… when you get ripped off.

This is a design of mine that I created about 4+ years ago, had a very successful run on Teefury (around 900 sales) and is probably my biggest seller.

While doing a little random google searching for fun, I came across these:

Anyone know any decent lawyers?

Comments

  • Michael Lee
    Michael Leeover 2 years ago

    It’s a great shirt and I almost bought one the other day but couldn’t get over the shipping hump (so to speak).

  • What was the shipping for it?

    – Simon Sherry

  • Michael Lee
    Michael Leeover 2 years ago

    I think it was around $15 or maybe a bit less. It was more than the tee itself at any rate which sours the deal. Can’t help that I suppose.

  • Whoa – that is a bit steep. Oh well, you could always buy one from here ;oP

    – Simon Sherry

  • geekchic  tees
    geekchic teesover 2 years ago

    That sucks man – these guys will lend you an ear :

    http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com

  • Nice idea man – think I may just have to contact them…

    – Simon Sherry

  • Michael Alesich
    Michael Alesichover 2 years ago

    What kind of lawyer are you looking for?

    Cease and Desist letters are a standard start without any cost but I can get you the name of an IP lawyer if you want to go further.

  • I think getting some sort of C & D drafted up may be a start. I’m not entirely sure what protections I have here – Peter below has outlined some possible issues (although I would argue that the appplication of an idea, as opposed to the idea itself, is the issue – both these products are ‘disguise/dress up’ tees and while drawn differently than mine are very close in terms of the design).

    P’raps they could simply claim that their products are ‘parodies’ of mine (should I go there? ;o))

    – Simon Sherry

  • Peter Hill
    Peter Hillabout 2 years ago

    Touch and go here, I’d say. Certainly the idea is the same, but you cannot bring action just on that because an idea is not intellectual property. Is it derivative of your work? That is the key question, and I’m seeing distinct differences, eg 3 claws not 2, indeed distinctly different claws, and different colour tips. Then there’s the lines on the stomach. Touch and go.

  • I would think that the application of the idea, the notion of the ‘disguise/dress-up’ concept behind the design (something outlined in the description of both products), the fact that both of these designs appear after the release and wide scale attention my own design received would have to count for something. The idea is not the only issue here – the application of that idea and the production of a specific product based upon that idea (which is the intellectual property in this instance) is.

    – Simon Sherry

  • Peter Hill
    Peter Hillabout 2 years ago

    Yes, exactly my point. Your last sentence takes us straight to the derivative versus transformative issue.

  • IWML
    IWMLabout 2 years ago

    i’m a big fan of your work, and would probably like you as a person as well. so it’s with no ill will that i suggest that you might not be the only person on the planet to have come up with this idea. it’s pretty conceivable that someone else came up with the same idea independently, given that we’re sharing a planet with literally billions of people on it, many of whom are creative and smart. although it MAY VERY WELL have been a rip-off, i’m not convinced that it DEFINITELY was a rip-off, especially given the differences in execution. you claiming that you own the idea of ‘hands on a tshirt’ is like someone claiming they own the idea of a ‘star wars parody’. if i were you, i’d hurrumph a bit and then shrug and think, ‘well, at least i did sell a whole lot of shirts’.

  • Mate, I’m under no illusions that there may be someone, somewhere who developed a similar design, but having found no evidence of it online when i originally produced it (and I made sure to look, as I was assuming the idea would’ve been done already), and having these two tees show up after the fact makes me HIGHLY dubious that they were created in a vacuum.

    And, to clarify, I’m not claiming ownership of the idea of ‘hands on a t-shirt’, I’m claiming some ownership of the idea of ‘dinosaur arms on a t-shirt pitched as a ’costume/disguise’ item that you could wear and hide your real arms.’ No offence, but isn’t that a little more specific and therefor a little more worthy of copyright protection? As for the differences in execution, well, I think that following that logic, I could trawl this site, take note of the best sellers, redraw them in my own style, and claim the same defence. As long as I sell them somewhere else and plead ignorance, wouldn’t I be protected? Surely then, any piece of artwork I have here on this site can be happily copied by others as well. How do I prove that it all isn’t just a series of not-so-happy coincidences?

    To be honest, I know I’ve got next to a weasel’s fart in hell of being able to do something about this. It’s not the first time someone has ripped one of my designs (a comic con in Bristol ripped my Cruel Brittannia tee for their logo one year), and law of averages says it probably won’t be the last. It’s just frustrating to see it happen.

    – Simon Sherry

  • IWML
    IWMLabout 2 years ago

    i absolutely hear what you’re saying, man! it can be really hard existing in a dynamic cultural system – we WANT our ideas to be attributed to us and us alone, and to remain in our control. and we feel annoyed when someone takes our idea and then goes off and starts making money off it. and it really hurts, as an artist, to feel so powerless about it.

    but (i believe) art IS a dynamic cultural system, whether we artists like it or not. art actually DOES inspire people. and what is inspiration? it seems to me that it is basically a state of ‘this thing has been done, but i could do it differently’. if the concept of ‘dinosaur hands on a t-shirt that could be used as a disguise’ inspires people, as all good art SHOULD, then soon enough there’ll be zillions of the things around, all slightly different. it’s actually a testament to your art that you have inspired so many people! i see it like all the Calvin and Hobbes pieces floating around now. someone did it first, and people went ‘woah, yeah, that’s a great idea!’ and made their own. or the first song that used a fucking autotune – that was once a clever unique idea, people went ‘fuck ys!’ and now it’s everywhere. you can’t stop inspiration. and, as much as it might personally shit you, you don’t ACTUALLY want to stop inspiration. because that’s how cultures grow and change. you just can’t ‘own’ an idea, no matter how ace it is. which sucks for us, as artists – but is actually AWESOME as far as culture itself is concerned. i totally understand your frustration, and anger, and annoyance, and ALL of that stuff – i would feel EXACTLY the same – but culture itself doesn’t give a rat’s.

    (imagine where we’d be if the first wheel had been ‘copyrighted’… or the idea of using fire to cook something.)

    anyway – it’s a really interesting area, this whole new-fangled ‘copyright’ idea. it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. cheers man, and respect – and seriously, i’m not trying to be offensive or trolling or anything, just exploring ideas and what they might mean in the wider context of culture and evolution. so if i’ve pissed you off, i apologise!

  • No need to apologise at all man, my response was probably a little more emotionally charged than I meant (chalk it up to being a touchy subject ;o)).

    I get what you’re saying, and hey, if the root of these designs is due to being inspired by my tee, I guess in an odd way it’s flattering.

    On the other hand, I like to think that inspiration should be a well that we draw from to create something new (as new as anything can be, anyway). To me, THAT takes a lot more creative blood, sweat and tears than simply duplicating someone elses concept. To be honest, I think it’s a trend that ’ all too pervasive in our culture now – reboot, remix, remake, but for god’s sake, DON’T try and create something bold and new. Can’t stop it, but hopefully as a movement it burns itself out for a while soon.

    Thanks for adding to the debate – both Peter and yourself have certainly broadened the original scope of my journal.

    – Simon Sherry