Okay, so, if I ran the CLC, this is exactly how I would've handled this situation.

The first thing you do, is you look at the company, and try to figure out the scope of infringement. If they are marketing shirts and images that look like pre-existing shirts and images (Like the Nike shoes that are spelled Nlke), then clearly you have to lay the smack down a little harder.

The second thing you do is you check to see if they have a past record. If they've broken this law before, and they should KNOW better, then you can go ahead and proceed with DefCon 3, as James did.

If it looks like a couple of kids having fun, making videos, and trying to raise a little money to buy a nicer camera, then you think to yourself

"You know what. These kids seem alright.

While I do have the legal authority to be a cold, distant, forceful bastard right now, it is an option I can choose to take, or not take, and given that I am not soulless, I will treat this person with a little bit of consideration, because the truth is, they are breaking a law that honestly, most people don't know about."

So then you write the following letter:

Dear Gators vs Buckeyes guys,

Hi, we stumbled across your site, and the videos are funny, congrats.

But unfortunately, you have actually infringed a bit on the University of Florida's trademarks. You probably didn't know that you did it, it's a pretty obscure rule, but we have to enforce it, that's what UF pays us to do.

The way that other shirtmakers get away with it is this: they contact us, and sign up for a license, which costs them $X per shirt. It's not a ton, but that money goes to
(Who knows what. I'll be optimistic and say kids with cancer but it probably pays for turf.)

Now, if you'd like, as the shirts aren't terribly offensive or anything, you can retroactively apply for a license.

Just tell us roughly how many shirts you've sold (please be honest, our rates are reasonable) and remit the balance, and we'll send you the licensing paperwork, and then you'll be able to put "LICENSED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA" on your homepage, which will probably boost your sales a bit, and cover the licensing costs.

Good luck, and have fun Monday! Feel free to call me if you have any questions,

[CLC Person]

Unfortunately, no one would ever write this letter, because it makes too much sense to write this letter. This letter is filled with compassion, understanding, and knowledge. Most organizations are not built on those things, but built on the thrill that comes from having the legal right to tell someone to stop doing something.

Sadly, this is really one of the under-realized, biggest problems we face in the world today. Unnecessary Cruelty. In Footballese, it'd be a 20(?) Yard penalty. Roughing the Writer.

What happens, is Person A is meaner than they have to be, to person B. Person B, is then in a foul mood, and reacts a little more abrasively to persons C-F, who then (if they aren't in great controls of their mood) do the same to persons G-M.

It's emotional Amway, a pyramid scheme that just serves to irk as many people as possible. Totally avoidable, and innundates nearly every interaction you have. Being bounced out of a club, getting a speeding ticket, being told you have insufficent funds, whatever. These are all interactions that are already combustible, so a lack of compassion brings far too much spark.

The weirdest thing about this, is that -this- is the stand from which I stage a 'rallying' cry. Our parents got to fight the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, etc.. I get to bitch about a T-Shirt. Although, lets be real. -getting- to fight the Civil Rights movement isn't any great prize. HAVING to fight it, is horrendous, so maybe this is progress? I wonder if life is more interesting when the villains are more clear-cut?

The irony of a Copyright warning on this page is -not- lost on me.
Copyright (C)2006-2007. All Rights Reserved.
Permission to use any material found on this web site must be made in writing.
Click HERE to request permission.
Unlike the CLC, I'll probably be nice and grant it to you.