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Our mockup jerseys and copyright law


adamcz

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As a composer (music) I know a little bit about copyright law, but I have an issue of grey area here. Long ago, I made a mock jersey concept using a template I found on this site. I basically just did a recoloring, so I'm not really trying to claim ownership of the idea - just curious as to who does own it.

If a pro team releases a near identical match, do I speak up? Does the template creator speak up? Probably the look that me and the template creator came up with is so generic and obvious that nobody can copyright it (I know in music you can't copyright your melody if it happens to just be a major scale or something common like that). But a pro sports team wouldn't release a jersey that they can't copyright.. so obviously they are filing their designs with the library of congress...

If a new jersey is unveiled, and I can show a link to my jersey, which was posted long before the copyright filing date, do I win? Afterall, copyright is awarded at the moment of creation, not at the moment of filing. But then again, I just recolored somebody else's design, so they should probably hold more claim to the design than me.

PS - I'm not wasting your time with a purely hypothetical situation.

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If it's a generic design, nobody owns it (unless it's two, three, or four stripes; that's owned by Adidas).

What can be protected is a specific jersey with specific colors used in a specific pattern, it's the whole work that's protected, not the design. However, that really has to be done via a trademark and not a copyright.

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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

I've heard you can protect a logo obviously, but you can't protect a design of a jersey. Thus every sportwear seller out there has a template with the Bruins, Leafs, Sharks .. or whatever pattern. It would also explain why a couple of the old WHA clubs simply stole NHL sweaters, and why several minor, junior league clubs still do though they have no affiliation with an NHL club.

Again just something I heard once, can be certain it's the legal fact.

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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

I've heard you can protect a logo obviously, but you can't protect a design of a jersey. Thus every sportwear seller out there has a template with the Bruins, Leafs, Sharks .. or whatever pattern. It would also explain why a couple of the old WHA clubs simply stole NHL sweaters, and why several minor, junior league clubs still do though they have no affiliation with an NHL club.

Again just something I heard once, can be certain it's the legal fact.

That would make sense; it happens so often. A minor hockey team, for example, might use the leafs JERSEY, but you never see them with the actual logos.

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naw WiB, they actually become property of Al Gore :D you can use two stripes or four stripes, nobody owns that; three stripes, as mentioned, is adidas...odd thing about adidas at this year's olympics, the IOC apparently banned the three stripes for some reason, so adidas snuck in a striped 3 design instead :hockeysmiley:

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Didn't you reac the user agreement when you signed up?

All designs posted here become property of the State of Connecticut.

Well if the State ever brings back the Whalers--they'll have no shortage of concepts--even from the last day or two...

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