General Question

cricketonastick's avatar

Can I print the word 'batman' on a shirt?

Asked by cricketonastick (198points) August 28th, 2009

Yesterday I set up a store on cafepress, toting the fact that batman is the best person in the world. These shirts say so. But today my images are “pending” because they believe that the content is “suspicious”. The word “Batman”, isn’t copyrighted, is it?

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17 Answers

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

What?! Mr Rogers is obviously superior!

cricketonastick's avatar

@teh_kvlt_liberal Heck no! He doesn’t even have a utility belt!!!

kevbo's avatar

One of my college professors had to change the title of his book to “The Many Lives of the Batman” due to copyright issues, so that’s not an outrageous supposition.

potrick's avatar

While you could argue this is fair use because of the pardoy satire clause, it be a rough case to make. Fact is your shirt is going to benefit from the “Batman” brand, which is not public property.

cricketonastick's avatar

grrr…That’s ridiculous. Here I am, trying to make a simple parody. So the word itself is copyrighted as well, not just the bat symbol?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

people call me Spider Man, for obvious reasons. To avoid copyright infringement, I correct them, saying “Call me Spider Guy.”

Besides, I don’t look like Peter Parker, I don’t live with my aunt, and I’m not a nerdy wuss like the other Spider man.

cricketonastick's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I think I missed something.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cricketonastick Fridays are meth day for ev. you’ll come to embrace this fact as your acclimate to the collective…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@cricketonastick I am the self-described unofficial patron saint of spiders. That is the short answer. The long answer is I treat spiders like most people treat kittens. In other words, I love the little buggers.

Jeruba's avatar

Lawyers whose job it is to defend brands and trademarks from infringement don’t mind going after the little guy.

(You are probably talking about a trademark on the brand identity and not a copyright on the word itself, or Batman couldn’t be mentioned in print. That would spoil a lot of film reviews.)

Buttonstc's avatar

Prior to the creation of this comic book character,there was no word such as Batman so it is rightfully an integral part of the identity.

The logo has undergone subtle changes over time from one iteration to the next but the name itself is the constant in this particular brand.

I’m wondering if a letter to Stan Lee himself may yield some good advice. He seems like a cool guy who can remember when he was once one of the “little guys” himself.

gailcalled's avatar

Change the rubric to Tabman, Butman, Banman, Batcan, Ratman, Ranmat; many possibilities.

drdoombot's avatar

A few years ago, I uploaded a picture of V from V for Vendetta to CafePress and immediately ordered the shirt, then removed it from my store. They soon alerted me to potential copyright violations, but the shirt was already printed and shipped. I still have the shirt and love it.

Maybe CafePress has gotten better at stopping people from pulling the kind of trick that I did. Or it might just be that their filters are better at catching text than photos. Maybe you should try making a jpeg of the word “Batman” and doing what I described above. I can’t guarantee it will work, but it’s worth a shot.

standardtoaster's avatar

@Buttonstc actually the city of Melbourne in Australia was founded by a man named John Batman

Buttonstc's avatar

So how come they didn’t name it after him. Batman, Australia has kind of a nice ring to it, dontcha think?


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