Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Vader Nation

I get a ton of pitches from public relations reps asking me to help promote this or that, but I rarely do anything with them.

But occasionally something jumps out at me from the inbox, such as the email I received yesterday from Doc Goodie at Tarnation Sports, a nostalgia sports apparel company.

As a kid, I was a Raiders fan...And a Star Wars fan. So when Doc sent a link to his VADERS shirt, I thought it was cool and clever.

But that's not the end of the story.

Apparently, the folks at Lucasfilm don't like Doc allegedly pilfering their intellectual property, so they've asked him to cease and desist.

I asked Doc about "protected parody," or fair use, which can legally protect the use of copyrighted imagery when used for parody.

Doc replied, "Well the problem is we are a two-man outfit working from home, so it's David's little brother vs. Goliath! It's always a gray area dealing with parody but can we afford to fight the evil empire? Like I said, do a google search and find hundreds of similar designs, but we're the one they picked to make an example of."

I suspect that it's probably not a fight worth fighting anyways, considering this tidbit from a legal site about protected parody: "Your parody will not gain fair use protection if it simply borrows the general style of its target or places the characters from a familiar work in novel or eccentric poses."

Anyhow, the upshot is that Doc needs to unload all of his VADERS shirts over the next few days.

Figuring that some Raider Take regulars might get a kick out of the design, I thought I'd help spread the word and show some support for the Rebel Alliance before the Death Star shuts them down...

Just Google "Tarnation Sports" and you'll find it on the home page.