Beware the trademarks!

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?

Another unauthorized Star Wars tee

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.