Well, I’ll be honest. I was kind of expecting to get one of these letters eventually:
Intellectual property infringement is a serious matter. Penalties for copyright infringement can reach $150,000 per work infringed and penalties for trademark counterfeiting can reach $1,000,000 per trademark for each type of goods sold.
In the event that you have not properly secured the right to use the images/pictures in your store for the sale of merchandise we have closed your merchandise store to avoid any conflict with the copyright holder.
Fair enough, really. The reason I made the shirt available was to take a deliberate pot-shot at the French Connection clothing chain. Years ago I used to work for a band whose logo was FCUK – it formed part of the catalogue number of their records, served as an onstage backdrop and, most ironically, adorned thousands of t-shirts we sold on tour – needless to say, this was a couple of years before French Connection started using the same phrase. And, needless to say, the original artist was never compensated. This has always rankled somewhat, whether the company’s branding was designed in ignorance or not, and so I threw up the merchandise page on Cafepress to tempt them into a response.
Ironically, the cease and desist letter came not from French Connection, but from cnut attitude, a company set up by stand-up comedian Dave Griffiths, who has had his own legal battles with French Connection (and who has since very nicely apologised to me for the heavy-handed nature of his own desist notice). So, as you can’t buy my shirts any longer (not that anyone ever did), buy one of his. In fact, buy one of these and send it to me. And maybe, just maybe, French Connection will one day properly compensate my friend who designed the original FCUK logo.
Hmmm. Not gonna happen, is it?