I'd thik the university would want the shirt to be sold. The point of the commercial was to advertise the university, and I can't see how that shirt doesn't spread the commercial's message.
MGoStore merchandise removal....
Um... How is it that an independent business that is completely unaffiliated with the University is subject to NCAA compliance rules? I mean obviously the University can't make a HE16MAN shirt, and obviously MGoStore can't do any endorsement deals with the student athletes, but Denard Robinson and Desmond Howard are public figures - references to their history, nicknames, etc. fall under fair use, and I can't imagine the NCAA putting sanctions on a school for the actions of a completely unaffiliated business.
And to think I was just glad to get one of the Returning to Glory Since 1993 shirts when they still said Notre Dame and not just ND...
Not surprising, but a bummer nonetheless.
This has some merit but mostly sucks.
Still looking foward to your great designs, SixZero.
Brian's blog is his main source of revenue and I think I had read that the t-shirt sales were a big part of that. Having said that, he has a lot to lose if he were to get sued for any compliance issues.
So the question is, would it be possible for an individual, like me for example, to have the t-shirts made and sold? This way it has nothing to do with Mgoblog. We would have to set up a way though so Brian still receives the same compensation he was before.
And I'm not volunteering to do this, I don't have the time, but just curious if that would be a way to circumvent the compliance issues and keeping Brian and his blog out of it
Damn I was going to get a Death Roh shirt, guess I missed my chance!
This is a bunch of BS!
Im wondering why the Jalen Rose shirts are ok but all the stuff removed is not?
Could it possibly be because according to the record books Jalen's teams never played at Michigan? (sigh)
I wanted a Shoelace shirt!
I obviously haven't read the letter from the university, so I can't be sure what rationale it asserts for wanting the shirts removed, but I believe almost any trademark claims it might make would be 100% unadulterated bull honkey. The university has absolutely no argument upon which to claim trademark rights in, for example, the word "shoelace." Furthermore, I can't imagine what NCAA violations could be committed by MGoStore, since it's not affiliated with the university, so I don't see how their selling shirts promoting a player for an individual award is different from fans in the stands holding signs that do the same, which seems to happen routinely. Oddly enough, I believe the Lloyd shirt might be subject to the strongest clim (based on personal-likeness ownership), but that claim would presumably have to be asserted by Lloyd himself, since he's retired.
What I suspect has happened is that U of M, in a cynical attempt to control every drop of goodwill generated by the university and convert it to dollars, sent out a broad demand letter covering everything in the store even vaguely related to the program or its current players or employees. They did so because, regardless of whether their claims have any legal merit, they assume they have nothing to lose by sending a demand letter, and because most small businesses with no lawyers will just roll over and die when they see the abbreviateion "esq." in a signature line.
If you, like me, are irritated by this behavior on the university's part, probably the best thing to do would be to contact them and let them know that, in fact, they do have something to lose by shutting down legitimate expressions of enthusiasm by fans and alumni; namely, the very goodwill that makes their trademarks valuable. My love of the creativity exhibited by the MGoStore designs, and my annoyance at overreaching in the use of trademark law, will now make me think twice before purchasing officially licensed Michigan gear.
it's working now - my bad.
Absolutely arbitrary decision! Annarbortshirtcompany.com has some Denard for Heisman shirts for sale, but they aren't anywhere near as awesome design-wise as the HE16MAN shirt.
what are the odds I'll get it? or at least a refund? It is now friday....
You can't misappropriate another's likeness for your own gain. It's not a trademark issue on all the claims. The "he's a public figure!" argument is actually worse for your case (that only works for whether someone is sladered/libeled). If a mark can be attributed to a person's likeness, then you can't profit off of it without that person's consent.
This doesn't explain every takedown at issue here, but Brian et al likely took down mostly everything for now in an abundance of caution pursuant to some run of the mill cease and desist letter. He is probably (or should, at least) consulting a lawyer to get a better grasp on where the lines are and how not to cross them. The shirts will probably come back in the future if I had to guess.
"Shoelace" is not a likeness. The number 16 is not a likeness. Lloyd's face IS a likeness, yet it's still there. So go figure.
Where's that picture of a cat pushing a watermelon out of a lake?
I call a big pile of hobo bullshit on this.
be a likeness. Especially when paired with his number. If it's attributable to Denard, which it clearly is, and is being used for commercial gain, which it clearly is, he can be sued. You are just wrong here.
But not by the University. They don't own his likeness rights.
his own likeness yet. He's a college athlete. I'm not sure he'd even have stading to assert that claim, but I bet the University could. The University does sort of own his likeness rights while he is affiliated with the University and unable to market himself.
Was there an outcome yet over the ownership of likenesses in the EA Sports games? I know one (or several) players had sued because there was money made from their likenesses but there were never paid.
I'm not a lawyer, just a B-School grad, so my logic may not apply.
It would just make him ineligible. Which would probably be a net loss in future profits. But the University doesn't own it. Just like the Store has to play a game of close, but not too close, the University has to the do the same thing...as the previous post points out in say video game likenesses. If the University had standing to profit off of their likeness, then the video games and jerseys and calendars (always previous, not current, players) would have the real player name and likenesses. So yes, they can own a "Michigan #16" likeness. But they can't really own "Shoelaces".
It's interesting because a number of these shirts have been up for quite some time...and it's not like they're much different than the guys with the stands on the street who have ripped off a number of the designs for their own profit.
I wonder if this has more to do with who is selling them and their relationship to the University as opposed to what is being sold. To my knowledge, before buying Moe's, Underground Printing would produce t-shirts angled toward Michigan (like the MGoShirts), but never use any University trademarks. Now that they run Moe's and sell licensed material, the University has more control to threaten UGP with revoking their agreement to sell licensed product like jerseys, hats, etc. Perhaps a lawyer can speak to this more, but unless they go on a major cease and desist binge and shut down the shady push carts, then I think it's a targeted threat at a licensed retailer.
Glad I got my Worst State Ever shirt, but damn, I was bout to get a Shoelace one, this really sucks.
A bunch of empty shelves??
Even if there are some items that need to be removed (player name, numbers, etc), or things that look like Michigan uniforms, as many have said, how is a "Worst State Ever" shirt a violation of anything?? If that's the standard they're going to go by, I'd say it's worth fighting. It depends on what's more valuable...MGoBlog access (which it never had till recently), or shirt profits, because this would basically neuter the whole company. Or turn them all into Moe's. (Which contract-wise seems more the motivation for this...the thing that's really changed is they're a legitimate contractor with the U now).
Sometimes the University of Michigan makes me sad.
The NCAA sucks. Let us fans buy some damn shirts.
I went in at like 10 this morning asking if they had them in women's sizes yet ... and now I'll never get them :[ They gave me the 10% off card though, maybe I'll get myself a sweet pair of M leggings
Looks like there are stores still selling this: