Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yes, We Can...not Use MLB Typefaces

SoSG is going to steer clear of political endorsements. However, The Smoking Gun (and how often do we get to cite thesmokinggun.com? (don't get any bright ideas, current Dodgers)) reports today that MLB has forced closure of a Wharton MBA student's online business operations, after creating and selling t-shirts saying "Obama" in the typefaces of MLB teams.

MARCH 18--Major League Baseball has forced the closure of an online business run by a Barack Obama supporter who tweaked team logos to create t-shirts promoting the Illinois Democrat's presidential bid. The web site Obamaofdreams.com began selling the $19.99 shirts last month and had more than a dozen versions available when an MLB lawyer sent proprietor Morris Levin a cease and desist letter threatening legal action.

Baseball officials contended that the clever shirts [...] violated the league's trademarks. Baseball officials have aggressively used legal threats to dissuade such reinterpretations of its logos, and apparently did not consider the Obama shirts as protected political speech or as transformative of its trademarks. While he briefly continued to operate the site after being contacted by the MLB attorney, Levin, 31, shuttered his t-shirt operation earlier this month.

Levin, an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School, has said that he was "inspired by Obama's message" and sought to show his support "with cool t-shirts." The Obama shirts--which carried the number "08" on their backs--were a mash-up of the candidate's name and distinctive logos for teams like the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago White Sox (Obama's favorite team). Additionally, Hillary Clinton's favorite teams--the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees--were also given the Obama t-shirt treatment.

Guess we won't be updating that SoSG logo any time soon. We especially like the circa 1980s White Sox shirt, as well.

As for obamaofdreams.com, I guess if you build it, they will come...threatening a lawsuit until you take down your damn website.

And that does it for tonight's crappy quotes offset...by ellipses!


Delino DeShields, Sr said...

Those Wharton guys are smart as whips. Back in my day, one industrious Wharton guy found a way to start selling textbooks for 30 percent off right next to the bookstore!