posted by tom / October 27, 2005 /

So it looks like somebody — I couldn't say who, of course — has put up a Butterstick CafePress store. There's only one design, and it looks like this:


Best of all, the $1 profit margin on the shirts will be donated directly to FONZ! Isn't that nice? Wouldn't FONZ be jerks if they sued whatever dashing man (or woman!) of mystery is responsible for this design? Of course they would.


I want one.

Posted by: j.scott barnard on October 27, 2005 10:08 PM

I want one . . . panda.

Posted by: Kriston on October 28, 2005 02:32 AM

Holy crap! Your CafePress store has been pimped by the Express! Your chances of flying under the radar are now officially nil.

You might want to consider calling up FONZ pre-emptively to start negotiating. It's the use of one of the Zoo's copyrighted IMAGES that you're most likely to be nailed for, not the concept or the name. Changing the design to a generic baby panda or cartoon baby panda would probably be a lot safer, but of course then they'd be less adorable.

Good luck with any firestorm that may or may not flare up over this. Just don't expect "I gave a percentage of my illegally-generated profits to a good cause," to be an argument that holds a lot of water in court.

P.S. I want one, too.

Posted by: Nate on October 28, 2005 10:14 AM

Nate, thanks for letting me know about the Express. Naturally Mt. Vernon Square had no copies, as usual. I think the guy hawking the Wash. Times might throw them in the garbage every morning.

You're right about image copyright being the relevant issue for the shirt's creator (FONZ has no claim to the named Butterstick). And of course charity does not excuse unlicensed use of a copyrighted image. My understanding is that the *consequences* of copyright violations vary widely depending on whether profit is being made, however.

(And yes, all of the above is an abstract discussion. Except for the thing about the Express.)

Posted by: tom on October 28, 2005 10:23 AM

Did I say YOU? How foolish of me ... of course, I meant to say "whatever unknown man or woman created these adorable t-shirts." I also only picked up on the "$1 per shirt" not that said dollar was the full profit margin. The fact that only CafePress and FONZ are making any money will presumably make a big difference with FONZ/SI. For whoever it is that's selling these shirts, of course.

Posted by: Nate on October 28, 2005 10:33 AM

Mine came in the mail today - it's almost as cute as the Stick himself. My 11 year old thinks I am slightly less uncool than yesterday.

Posted by: Sasha on November 4, 2005 10:50 PM

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