“Fight Club” shirt by Bill Pyle at Shirtmogul

by Andy on February 5, 2013

fight club t-shirt

Bill e-mailed me saying he knew he could post this himself, but he wouldn’t be comfortable posting about a shirt he designed and could profit from, clearly Bill doesn’t realise just how important shameless self-promotion is to Hide Your Arms, so I guess that at least one writer still has some integrity!

Shirtmogul are a new-ish startup from India who you can think of a cross between a ‘tee a day’ shirt like TeeFury and a POD like RedBubble. They offer a curated selection of designs that are submitted by designers, so it’s a design competition without the voting, and they keep the tees on sale after the first week for a slightly higher price until the demand for them has died down. All the tees are screen printed which is a good sign for a company like this, but of course without having a shirt in the hands of a HYA blogger it’s impossible to know what the shirts are really like as they are using mockups in the product pictures. If any designers are interested, they’re offering $1 royalty payments on every shirt sold which seems pretty reasonable with the shirts only being $8 in the first week and $10 after that.

Really nice design from Bill based on Fight Club, great concept and I like the way there’s no specific mention to the film, no need to spoon-feed people everything.

  • ribbit

    Hogwarts and Darth Vader on t-shirts? Shame they seem to have no respect for copyright or trademarks.

  • http://hideyourarms.com/ Andy (Hide Your Arms)

    Is this your first time looking at t-shirts on the internet? 100s and 100s of t-shirt companies skate on pretty thin ice when it comes to copyright infringement, but can often get away with it due to fair use (the design could be a parody, for example) or simply being a small enough brand that the lawyers never notice them.

  • ribbit

    There’s a difference between skating on thin ice and blatantly ripping stuff off. I’m all for parodies or designs that are inspired by copyrighted material but use an original idea/concept for the design. I admire most of those designs and pretty much all Darth Vader t-shirts on RedBubble can at least mount an argument for fair use since the designers are clever in their work.

    Not the case here. Sorry, but using Darth Vader’s face and quoting directly from Star Wars is just plain lazy and dishonest. Nothing creative or original about it. Same with putting “Hogwarts” (a word trademarked by Warner Bros.) on a t-shirt and selling it. If anyone took notice it would be an open and shut case; any attempt to argue fair use over something so blatant would be laughed off. Is it really worth risking your business over the profit made by 3-4 t-shirts?

  • http://hideyourarms.com/ Andy (Hide Your Arms)

    I do agree with you, there’s quite a lot of their catalogue (especially lower down the page, which I’m taking to be their earliest designs) and there are too many which don’t make an adequate case for fair use. With the Vader shirt and Pulp Fiction being particular offenders. Then again, I don’t know what copyright law is like in India so I’m not sure if this is a moot point for us to be discussing.

    I would like to think that this is changing with them, with the way that they have been picking up designs which don’t infringe nearly as much and are interesting. I get the feeling that’s what they want to move into as well, legitimately interesting pop culture designs that I don’t have to grit my teeth when I write about them, much like the design above by Bill.

  • ribbit

    Fully agree with all of that. I’m a freelance graphics artist myself based out of India who has had some bad experiences in the past with regards to copyright, so I feel really passionate about stuff like this. It’s blogs and guys like you who need to make sure the good guys are the ones getting all the attention!

    Copyright law in India is seriously backwards when compared to the West and usually favours the one with the most money and patience. But I’d like to think obvious cases like the ones you listed above can be argued against in any country.

    I just hope these guys have sought legal advice and are aware of the risks involved in trying to make a quick buck.

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