Diesel Sweeties, who received one of the dreaded ‘quit or we’ll sue your wookiee off’ letters in regards to several derivative tees last month, is now offering limited engagement Cease and Desist t-shirts. Ironically, he’s still offering some of the original shirts.
Part of me thinks this “Star Wars sucks” t-shirt might get the makers a C&D faster than usual, but I also think it would be a delightfully ironic type of thing to wear at CIV – if you made your own.
Richard Stevens of Diesel Sweeties, who has been selling Star Wars themed t-shirts for a few years now, recieved a Cease & Desist from Lucasfilm. Comic Journal blog Journalista gives a good analysis of the situation. (via Digg)
I think it’s worth saying that Lucasfilm is well within their rights to do this kind of thing: fandom is not entitled to make money off someone else’s property, something fanfic folks are well aware of, but occasionally let slide when it comes to other areas. Overall, Star Wars fandom has has been very, very lucky in our dealings with the Powers-That-Be, at least for the last decade or so. They’re not exactly mowing down everyone in sight, remember?
The infamous ‘Dark Lord of the Garden’ shirt is now available in kid sizes for youthful (or simply Ewok-sized) infringers. Also of interest: In Case Of Zombies.
Why isn’t Lucasfilm snapping these freelancers up? After the whole Lori Jareo brouhaha, I’ve realized that maybe I shouldn’t be quite so nonchalant about this kind of thing, but… These shirts are awesome, far better than anything I’ve actually seen come out officially. (Yes, they’re trying, but I’m not really feeling the graphics at all.) The Urban Outfitter tees are close, but it seems like they’re trying too hard. You don’t need miles of text, or even a brief snappy caption. Just… simplicity.
It’s not like there’s not precedent – how many fan artists has LFL picked up over the years? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m sure there are contracts and exclusivity deals along the line somewhere. I just hate seeing awesome SW tees hovering in limbo.
Another throughly unauthorized Star Wars t-shirt design at Threadless.