A major TV network hit me with a nastygram telling me that my T-Shirt that I had made, and never sold or even bought for myself, was infringing on their copyright and trademark of a certain high school character played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar that carried a giant phone. I dare not even mutter the name, which was in the title of the shirt, for fear that the media giant come and take away my will to live.
OK, I was probably naive in using the name. I profusely apologized and left the unsold product off the market.
The kicker, however, was that they claimed that the image, that was a picture of me (who looks NOTHING like Mark-Paul Gosselaar), was “evocative” of their copyright and trademark.
Wow, that is a stretch. A big stretch. Here is the text that I received:
“We own the rights to the character “[name I dare not mention out loud]” and the design is still nonetheless evocative of our copyright and trademark. You have been put on notice. Thank you for your prompt compliance.”
For reference, here is the image, wholy created and owned by me (and also a picture OF me).