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Colleges getting bitter about copycat logos

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JackReacher, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Pretty good story in today's WaPo....

  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I agree they should have to ask permission, but it seems pretty ridiculous that some of these universities would do that to public schools.

    Isn't one of the high schools mentioned in Florida, a football powerhouse? I would think UF would be begging them to use their logo.
  3. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Seems pretty petty to me that colleges would go after high schools, and the whole $1 thing just strikes me as weird. What the story didn't mention is that the schools often don't come up with this themselves. Often, the sales rep who handles a school's helmets will come to a coach or AD with a collection of logos and the school representative simply puts his finger down on the one he likes. One would assume the equipment/apparel company does so with the permissions of the universities, but apparently not.

    The interesting thing to me is where should the line be drawn between free advertising -- which colleges get when high school use their logos -- and copyright infringement? It's not like the high schools are taking business away from the colleges, and this would seem to approach the fair use domain.
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Have to do it. If some business stole their logo, the business could defend itself by saying, hey, they are letting these schools use it.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think the $1 a year is the way to do it. The University isn't giving anything away and they can take it away if they ever feel the need, but they're not bullying public schools over using their mascot/logo.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I think just about any college athletic department official would tell you privately that this something they would rather not do. But - as someone mentioned - copyright laws pretty much mandate that you have to show that you are protecting your marks or you could lose the right to them.
  7. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    The Mississippi school mentioned in the WaPo story is in our town, so I'm quickly becoming well-versed on this issue.
    The colleges' problem isn't so much uniform patches, helmet logos or signs around the football field and gym. It's the schools that take the logo, slap it on sweatshirts, caps, coffee mugs and whatever else they can and then sell it at the local Wal-Mart. One high school in my area does this. They're the Pirates, and they use the Pittsburgh Pirates logo. I have no idea what the school makes off of this, or where it goes in regards to their budget, but it's clearly copyright infringement. You can imagine if a school like Hoover or St. Thomas Aquinas used a college's logo how much it would rake in.
    The colleges, though, can't really go after that one school because then the high school can say, "what about those guys? Why aren't you suing them?" So they have to take the legal sledgehammer to all of them.
    Our local school district isn't happy about this. To them, it seems like Florida (which is taking the biggest PR beating of all the colleges over this) is Goliath trying to lay a beatdown on David. But the cease and desist letter Florida sent, and the demands they've had, seem pretty reasonable -- stop using the logo around the school, and don't buy new uniforms with it on. Not sure if they did the $1 licensing fee thing or not, but that's not unreasonable either.
    All in all, the colleges are getting a bad rap on this one.
  8. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    I see this all the time and to me it's pure laziness on the part of the high school. Get your own damn logo and be original. Copycating sets a bad example to students.
  9. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    My little league football team had identical uniforms, helmets and logos to the Oakland Raiders. It was awesome. In high school we had inverse to the San Diego Charger helmets with Denver Broncos uniforms. They've changed them like 6 times now and I think we now look like Air Force.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Another interesting thing I saw in the article was a reference to Michigan helmets. The company that makes U-M helmets (in Ohio) has been giving different variations of the wing out for other schools. Michigan's wing pattern is unique... no one else has the exact one.
  11. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I'm conflicted. After all, it seems every new college trademark looks like it was designed by the same firm.
  12. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I wonder what the deal is with colleges/NFL that are way too similar ... Delaware/Michigan come to mind as do St. Louis Rams/Colorado Rams.

    Hey, what if Navy, Army and Notre Dame all try to sue each other for using plain gold helmets!
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