Tellingly, we couldn't find the offending t-shirt on the Gap website, for good reason. And after weeks of comparison and debate, Judas Priest is edging closer to taking legal action against the retailer. The allegation? The Gap ripped off the cover artwork from Priest's well-known album, Screaming for Vengeance.
We've seen this sort of scenario before, but suing a massive corporation on grounds of design infringement sounds like a questionable use of resources. Especially since the corporation is likely to yank the product to avoid bad publicity. That may have already happened with the Gap, and it's what Disney did after 'borrowing' a Joy Division album cover that was actually a scientific drawing in the public domain.
So is the Gap guilty of infringement in this case? Here, you decide. This is the Gap t...
And this is the artwork for Screaming for Vengeance...
marsiano Tuesday, September 11, 2012
at first sight I thought that a mechanical bird of prey is not enough for a complaint, but then I realized that both have a red circle as a background, and that association between the two elements is unique, IMO.
it's always difficult to judge this kind of situations.
similarly, in the Apple/Samsung case, if you take each characteristic singularly (shape, color, motions, etc.) they seem ordinary and not worth a patent, but if you put together a combination of ordinary elements, that combination can be unique.
Visitor Tuesday, September 18, 2012
the estate of Gene Roddenberry ought to sue both Apple and Samsung for copying intellectual property
I know it when I see it Tuesday, September 11, 2012
You can't copyright the idea of a chrome plated mechanical eagle flying across a red circle.
However, there is a slight possibility of trademark infringement.
Would the average consumer think Judas Priest was selling this shirt or possibly the GAP licensed the image from Judas Priest?
That is a bit of a stretch also.
Peter Bogdanoff Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Neither of these images appear to be trademarked. There could be a serious issue if the Judas Priest image was trademarked and the Gap image was appearing to be connected in some way with it. That has to do with trademark law.
If the design was trademarked, the band would have to file for a mark, use the mark in commerce, and defend it from infringement. And if so, they could easily say that there was some infringement going on. The orange disc seems a clear reference to the the album; put the metallic bird on top and, yes, you've got all the elements. Gap would be riding off of JP's trademark, and possibly be said to be trying to sell an authorized design when that hasn't been approved. That's trademark protection.
Copyright law has completely different rules. You don't have to file for a copyright, it's protected as soon as you create it, and it protects against copying--selling a work as their own when it's a copy of yours.
In my opinion there's no copying going on. There could easily be argued that there is a reference to the album art, but it's not arywhere close enough to be a copy. You can't copyright the idea of a metallic bird over an orange disc. It seems that half of the t-shirt designs that you see for sale are some kind of rip-off of someone else's style. But the design has to be a pretty close replica to be considered copyright infringment.
That they are considering legal action is the thing here. An intellectual property lawyer will tell them that they don't really have a chance of succeeding in court. But they can grandstand about it all they want. That's publicity.
I know it when I see it Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Thanks for the details, however there are few more.
While it is true that you must register a mark with the USPTO to receive the benefits of US trademark law, I believe you gain certain common law trademark rights without registration if you have been using the mark in commerce. I doubt Judas Priest has been using the mark in commerce.
It is true that your copyrights exist at the moment of creation, however you can't bring an action for copyright infringement without filing a registration with the USCO. You also don't get the option of statutory damages if you don't register early. Just ask the RIAA how important those are. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120911thomas#pgplabkR5o6bgvS55e4YbQ
Finally I agree with your assessment that this is a publicity stunt and any IP attorney would tell them that they don't have a chance then send them a bill for legal services rendered
Hahahaha Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Blatent ripoff that they tried to slip past hoping to go unnoticed. At least make them eat the rest of the cheap chinese merch...
^___^ Tuesday, September 11, 2012
truther Wednesday, September 12, 2012
the claw is similar although facing in a different direction. the wing is there, but different; the look and feel are quite similar, but the drawings are not the same. The concept is not original.
Screaming For Vengeance art : crabmeat :: The Gap Mechanical Bird Drawing : krabmeat
Pat Monday, September 17, 2012
Seems like no big deal to me. Maybe the GAP designer was a big Priest fan and had this in his subconsious and got inspired by it. Led Zeppelin II was inspired by old blues standards, which then further inspired more music which also inspired more music and so on and so forth...
There was also a mechanical eagle in the classic video game MegaMan X. Is Capcom next in line to be sued by the almighty Judas Priest?
matto Tuesday, September 18, 2012
As a Judas Priest fan, I want that shirt.. a good take on a classic album cover. Too bad it had to end up in court. I can see Priest's point tho. Gap shoulda contacted them. Coulda been win/win. Now we gotta tie up the courts and pay lawyers to do jack. Nobody wins except the mouthpieces.
FPJ Saturday, September 22, 2012
The similarities are quite obvious.
Now, from a business standpoint.... If you go on ebay and find a classic white w/ black 3/4 sleeve judas priest shirt with the screaming for vengeance logo your probally paying around $100-$350 for one in good shape. Chances are the shirt will be quite faded and equally vintage looking.
With that being said, it's quite believeable that "The Gap" is trying to capitalize on the vintage look and using a vintage album cover idea.
Leonardo Friday, September 28, 2012
As camisetas ficam legais, pelo menos!