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Posted: 7/22/2003 5:23:36 AM EDT
I was (I'm shamed to admit it) surfing over on ak47.not the other night, putting my SKS up for sale, when I came across their online store. And what do I see prominently advertised for sale there?

The Kalashnikitty shirts that my wife came up with - her idea, with the help of a graphic artist I met on the boards. When I tried to advertise them on their site, I was asked to make a donation for $2.00 per shirt sold from that site. No problem. But then when they went to having their online shop, the price of admission was 50% of the profits! Sorry, but I'm not that rich - and I do all the work.

So now, without even asking me, they are selling the same shirts there. Pretty funny, eh?
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 5:30:24 AM EDT
It's called intellectual property. You own it. They are deriving a profit from it.

You have a civil litigation against them for damages.

See an attorney immediately to protect your rightful property..
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 5:46:52 AM EDT
BenDover is right. If what you say is true, you do have a clear legal claim with them.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:27:55 AM EDT
Did you protect your intellectual property?
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:36:57 AM EDT
A work is considered copyrighted at the moment of creation. While a trademark and copyright filing is a good idea, he still has a protected work without it.

Since he originated the idea, even the artwork created by another artist could be considered a work made for hire. He only needs to prove he came up with the concept (which it sounds as if there are plenty of witnesses).
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 7:58:21 AM EDT
Listen to what BenDover says, he's a real smart guy.

Even though he might not look like it.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 8:10:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2003 2:18:08 PM EDT by krinkfreak]

You saw it first of AR15.COM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KF
"Eternal Hater of SAI and GunsNet"

Link Posted: 7/22/2003 8:27:24 AM EDT
Well, the Kitty part is actually owned and copyrighted by SANRIO company, and quite honestly I don't want to tangle with them regarding this - even though I would win a court case because it is a parody (a winning defense in cases like this), I don't really have the money for it.

What I find funny is that instead of doing what I did (get a bunch of orders first, with sizes and colors already pre-determined) they are obviously selling a bunch of inventory already made up. And there's no telling whether they are iron-on, heat transfer, or silk screen (mine were all screened, on high-quality Tshirts).

Well, maybe I should do another run of shirts - hell, with all the animosity there is against ak47.net, it might help sales!

Hmm, maybe I could put "The ORIGINAL Kalashnikitty shirt - accept no crappy, cheap, money-grubbing substitutes" :)
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 9:02:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Listen to what BenDover says, he's a real smart guy.

Even though he might not look like it.



Link Posted: 7/22/2003 9:10:48 AM EDT
I've received many emails and IM requesting the original pic from the avatar.

I reply that it's not mine to distribute.

Can I still get a ORIGINAL shirt?
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 9:51:03 AM EDT
Sounds like they violated your copyrighted work, and potentially your trade-marked name (Kalashnikitty). At least have an attorney draft a letter to cease and desist.

Inform them that you have TradeMarked the name on the shirt as well. You don't have to register your claimed TradeMark immediately you know... plus, the graphic art is copyrighted once you created it.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 10:14:29 AM EDT
Yeah, make more shirts.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 12:24:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
Well, the Kitty part is actually owned and copyrighted by SANRIO company, and quite honestly I don't want to tangle with them regarding this - even though I would win a court case because it is a parody (a winning defense in cases like this), I don't really have the money for it.



Very good point.

I would do it if you could avoid a large corporation with deep pockets, and just screw over ak47.net.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 12:47:17 PM EDT
Guys, I just really don't have the time or money to get involved in crap like that. What I CAN do is do another batch of shirts and sell them here and a few other places. Plus I can have people post on ak.net about how MY shirts are the original, pre-ban, accept no imitations, higher quality, etc. shirts :) That would drive them crazy over there for sure!

Link Posted: 7/22/2003 12:57:56 PM EDT
You could sick the SANRIO people on ak47nutz
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 1:12:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 1:22:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
Guys, I just really don't have the time or money to get involved in crap like that. What I CAN do is do another batch of shirts and sell them here and a few other places. Plus I can have people post on ak.net about how MY shirts are the original, pre-ban, accept no imitations, higher quality, etc. shirts :) That would drive them crazy over there for sure!




I'd be in for 3 or 4.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 1:25:24 PM EDT
I'll take 2
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:08:50 PM EDT
Hmm - maybe I should do one final run before school starts - wow, looks like 6 shirts already needed!
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:20:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:36:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KenR_RedStarArms:
Greywolf2112

I will gladly put your shirts on my site for sale. Tell me your terms and I will treat you right. I belive we could give any other web site a good run for there money.

Ken Roberts
President Red Star Arms.

P.S. Miss RSA would look good in one on our web site.



Just get Ms. RSA to model one!!!!!!
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:37:10 PM EDT
Heh heh - you know, after seeing the Krinkfreak gallery with her pics, my wife's first thought was, "Damn, that girl could help us sell some T-shirts!" Gotta love a woman like that :)

I'm going to have to do another run, just to get a gander at Ms. RSA wearing one (preferably tied up at the mid-rif) ;)
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:45:10 PM EDT
Sounds good. I expect pics ASAP!!!
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:47:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2003 6:48:26 PM EDT by Energizer]
Just make a t-shirt and cut it up into a cut-off. Cut the sleeves too. Then send it to Ms. RSA.... oh and maybe you will get a signed photo too!

PS: think she would model one of my ar15.com watches??? hehe
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 7:18:10 PM EDT
For whats its worth ,Miss RSA in a kitty shirt...I would take a shirt if do run them again...WarDawg
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 10:31:23 PM EDT
So, since nobody has asked, who's the blonde in the Kalashnikitty shirt with the MOAB sticking out of her head?
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 12:36:03 AM EDT
Her name is Kristi and she is also deployed here at Al Udeid AB.

She will be rotating home tonight.

KF
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 2:15:59 AM EDT
What Krinkfreak is NOT telling you is that she conned him into giving her the shirt for allowing him to take one photo of her (with the promise of more) but then we never saw any more. I think we can blame Miss RSA for that - ever since her pics started popping up, Krinkfreak has been . . . . . different. I honestly don't think he even LOOKS at other women any more. Poor bastard :)
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 5:49:24 AM EDT
Greywolf -

FWIW, Sanrio would crucify you in court on a copyright claim. Parody is a defense to copyright infringement, but where the defendant is using it to derive monetary gain, the courts tend to see it more of a derivative work than a parody. As my copyright prof once said, "its really all about the money". Two classic examples...

Luther Campbell's version of Roy Orbison's song "Pretty Woman" (Campbell v. Acuff-Rose). Campbell wrote and recorded a rap version of Pretty Woman. Different lyrics (about the usual drug dealing, 'ho fucking, inner-city jamboree), but the same basic melody. Campbell claimed the parody defense, but the Supremes (and I don't mean Diana Ross et al), shot him down because basically, it wasn't done so much to make fun of the original version as to use the recognition of Roy Orbison's song to make money for himself (Campbell).

Naked Mickey? (Disney v. Air Pirates). Air Pirates did a comic book 'parody' of some Disney characters engaged in various sexual acts and doing drugs. Again, Air Pirates used the parody defense, but the court, as in Campbell) shot them down. Actually, IIRC Air Pirates was years before Campbell, but you get the idea...

The parody defense is very limited in scope, and generally the more money you make from a parody, the less likely it is to be seen by the courts as a valid parody and non-infringing use.

As for trademark protection, you'd need to file with the USPTO, but because of the similarity to Sanrio's existing characters (which I'm sure are already trademarked worldwide), the USPTO would deny your application. Sanrio, OTOH would have claims against you in trademark for unfair competition, dilution, trademark infringement, disparagement, etc. And unlike copyright where the creator owns the copyright, trademarks are granted by the gov't as an indicator of source. You can own a copyright, but you cannot truly own a trademark - you merely control it for a while. That is, once you've got a copyright, its yours for the statutory duration. Trademarks however require the 'owner' to use them in trade AND police and protect them. If you don't, you risk losing your mark. Thus, Sanrio could let you fly on the copyright claims if they didn't think you were a big enough fish to bother frying, but to protect the viability of their trademarks, they'd need to take action if they became aware of your infringement.

Basically, the courts would very likely see your Kalashnikitty idea as a derivative work of Sanrio's characters. If you had a license to make such a derivative work from Sanrio, you could proceed against AK47.net, but without such license, you are tempting copyright and trademark action against yourself and AK47.net by Sanrio.

Cool idea though - I do like the shirts. Now if you want to create trouble for the guys ripping off Kalashnikitty, send an anonymous email to Sanrio's legal department with a link to the site of such sale.
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 10:28:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
What Krinkfreak is NOT telling you is that she conned him into giving her the shirt for allowing him to take one photo of her (with the promise of more) but then we never saw any more. I think we can blame Miss RSA for that - ever since her pics started popping up, Krinkfreak has been . . . . . different. I honestly don't think he even LOOKS at other women any more. Poor bastard :)



That's a damn shame. I mean no disrespect to Miss RSA, but Kristi is cute as hell...
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 11:25:52 AM EDT
What about this shirt?



From www.tshirthell.com
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 7:02:52 AM EDT
if you wanted to get even with AK47.net......delete every post that you ever had about the kitty shirt......then contact Sanrio and tell them that they are taking their copyrighted image and using it. I bet within a few days they would get a letter from their attorneys to stop it selling their tee-shirts, or else.

Link Posted: 7/29/2003 7:37:33 AM EDT
Greywolf. Put me down for 2 2XL on grey please.

50%!! Wow. I've heard of trying to make your profit all at once ,but thats rediculous. PM me when you get them in so I can send you some money.
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