Archive for Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Big, bad KU

December 23, 2008

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To the editor:

I think that what the University of Kansas is doing to Larry Sinks and his store, Joe-College.com, is absolutely disgusting. The courts have already made their decision in this case. KU got some money and Sinks had to stop printing over a quarter of his inventory, but it wasn’t enough for the boys on the Hill.

This latest rationale, as stated by the university’s attorney in Friday’s Journal World, that “When you have a company like Joe-College out there selling unlicensed merchandise, you are literally taking money away from students,” is a bunch of hogwash. They are trying to put a noble spin on their greedy motivation to completely crush one man’s business.

Like gangsters who go around to businesses extorting money for “protection,” the university wanted a piece of the pie that Sinks was baking with his generic T-shirts, which among students and Lawrence teens were becoming increasingly popular, but were nowhere close to outselling officially licensed KU apparel. But what the university doesn’t understand is that by trying to crush Sinks, they have actually turned him into a folk hero, a defiant local business owner standing up against the big, bad multi-billion-dollar entity that is the University of Kansas. Careful, KU, they make cheesy movies about this kind of thing. You wouldn’t want to turn Mr. Sinks into an Erin Brockovich of T-shirt selling, now would you?

Jeremy Winfrey,
Lawrence

Comments

Bruce Bertsch 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but the license fees go to student scholarships, not hogwash. Mr. Sinks was found to be violating trademarks, and now he is violating again. Since he is violating a court order, he needs to be held responsible. There is a simple solution; obey the law. Sinks is no hero and his business is threatened only by his refusal to follow the law.

Trobs 6 years, 3 months ago

I am still confused. How was the judge able to add shirts to the banned list after the trial?

KSChick1 6 years, 3 months ago

It's "rockchalkchickenhawk" but okay. If you're going to make fun of KU can you at least get it right?

cthulhu_4_president 6 years, 3 months ago

"Careful, KU, they make cheesy movies about this kind of thing"-----------------------------------------------------------------Vince Vaughn as Larry Sinks.John Malkovich as Lew PerkinsJohn Goodman as Mark ManginoDick Cheney as Chancellor Hemenway

jhawks1234 6 years, 3 months ago

will someone please explain how the t-shirt "our coach can eat your coach" was in any way a violation of ku's trademark.

mom_of_three 6 years, 3 months ago

There never was a Joe College shirt in our house, and now, there never will be. I think the person with the poor pity me party is Sinks. "Big bad KU" is attacking him, but because he didn't follow the law.KU isn't the first college to do this, and won't be the last.

CLARKKENT 6 years, 3 months ago

MAYBE THATS WHY LEW NEEDS AN NEW EMPLOYEE, SO SHE CAN GO TO THE STORE ON A DAILY BASIS.

cthulhu_4_president 6 years, 3 months ago

How about John Goodman after eating Joe Pesci as Mark Mangino? That would probably put him at the correct weight and appearance.

chzypoof1 6 years, 3 months ago

Trobs is right. How can they add shirts AFTER the case is done? And another thing, that wasn't answered in the article...how is a shirt that says KANSAS a violation of copyright? That's a state, not a university. KU/Perkins are violating this guy's right to make a living, and he's done nothing to keep people from buying $45 adidas T shirts from KU.poof

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 3 months ago

Yawn, once more, guys I am trying to wake up here! I went to KU, my granddaughter is going to graduate in the spring. I am offended by people making fun of the rock chalk chant which is one of the most evocative sounds there is. Teddy Roosevelt said it was the best college chant after he came to Lawrence to dedicate the fountain that is in South Park and leaders of other countries have asked to hear it. Okay, so it isn't right up there with saying nasty things about Mary, but its close. I take my sports very, very, very seriously. Did Mangino put on weight this year? Seriously, he looks bigger than last year. I think jumping up and down when they won took off some weight.

Gareth Skarka 6 years, 3 months ago

KU was handed a gift-wrapped decision in the original trial by a know-nothing judge who has no concept of how copyright actually works. The decision is ridiculous -- and if Sinks had more money, I'd recommend that he appeal and fight this -- hopefully getting it to a Federal court where he can deal with folks who are versed in copyright laws.Otherwise, KU (or should I say "KU, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Kansas Athletics, Inc.") is setting a disturbing precedent for corporate rights-grabs, which could be used in other copyright cases.

tonythetiger 6 years, 3 months ago

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local_support 6 years, 3 months ago

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Confrontation 6 years, 3 months ago

So, just because Sinks is selling less than KU, that makes it okay to rip off the university? Stupid letter, stupid logic.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

If the University had bigger shoulders, maybe they'd be less self-conscious about their apparent inability to fill out one of Larry's t-shirts.

cthulhu_4_president 6 years, 3 months ago

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tonythetiger 6 years, 3 months ago

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OlderThanMud 6 years, 3 months ago

consumer1 (Anonymous) says… "This is easy, just keep supporting Joe College. I do. I haven't bought an over priced shirt from KU in over 10 years."This is the most rational post I've seen.

OhHai 6 years, 3 months ago

"I am offended by people making fun of the rock chalk chant which is one of the most evocative sounds there is." Really? Evocative sounds. Really? It's a college chant that is usually done at SPORTING EVENTS THAT YOU AREN'T PLAYING IN! Really? This is why I dislike sports so very, very much.

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 3 months ago

OhHai, I am just saying it very evocative to me. I love going to basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse with the rituals that we do. I am a member of Jayhawk Nation and I love the see the players. Oh, man, when they won the championship and Mario Chalmers hit that three to send the game into OT! That was one of most exciting moments of my life. I was not the only one. Come on, fess up, people! How many of you were on pins and needles during that game?

BIGBEAR 6 years, 3 months ago

It did go to federal court, July, Judge Julie Robinson.All "copyright" issues go directly to federal courtGareth (Anonymous) says… KU was handed a gift-wrapped decision in the original trial by a know-nothing judge who has no concept of how copyright actually works. The decision is ridiculous — and if Sinks had more money, I'd recommend that he appeal and fight this — hopefully getting it to a Federal court where he can deal with folks who are versed in copyright laws.

california 6 years, 3 months ago

Larry deserves everything he is getting. Most people that know Larry understand that he is a "less-than-reputable" businessman. And, of course, he didn't (and probably couldn't) graduate from KU.

notajayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Cleopatra (Leslie Swearingen) says… "I went to KU, my granddaughter is going to graduate in the spring. I am offended by people making fun of the rock chalk chant which is one of the most evocative sounds there is."Be careful repeating it. I believe they have that copyrighted, too.

babyj10 6 years, 3 months ago

No one thinks about the other stores that follow the rules. It's not just about KU! Other local businesses that follow the rules and pay their royalties are being undercut on prices because of Sinks' violations. The fact that he doesn't pay royalties means he can sell his shirts for less. However these local stores cannot sue him because they do not own the trademark, KU does. How can you jump on the defense on just one local store with an owner who has a bad reputation in the business just because he's going up against the big, bad KU when in fact it's Sinks who is hurting local businesses with his actions?

VTHawk 6 years, 3 months ago

I was originally with Sinks on this one, but I have completely changed my tune. If you all read any of the court documents, you would change your mind too. The most obvious point is that he got caught selling ILLEGAL shirts right after he was told to stop selling them. There isn't really any defense for that. He tried to get licensed by KU, but was denied, then started selling unlicensed merchandise of copyrighted material. KU, for all its faults, isn't the bad guy here.

Confrontation 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh, Jacky, if only you'd pay attention. It'd make the world less lonely and confusing for you.

notajayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

If you go to the patent and trademark office's website and do a search, Jack, you'll see that KU does, indeed, have the word Kansas registered as a trademark on clothing. I agree with you that this is an abomination, but, unfortunately, legal.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 3 months ago

OMG,my computer nearly flamed out there: Jackie and nota actually agreed ...and, incredibly, I agree with them too! shizzayam!does somebody have "kansas river" copy righted, too? or "kansas skies?"

corduroypants 6 years, 3 months ago

KU is protecting their most valuable property—their name and trademarks. It's not a matter of David vs. Goliath, or for that matter, anything to do with sports. Sinks is infringing and he knows it. Hell, he even used part of the Coca-Cola logo for his own miserable Joe College logo. No one will notice right?

notajayhawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Did Coca-Cola sue?Are you saying that KU's "most valuable property" is a bigger deal than Coca-Cola's trademark is to them? A tad on the commercial side, aren't we?

Kyle Reed 6 years, 3 months ago

"...the university wanted a piece of the pie that Sinks was baking with his generic T-shirts."Of course they wanted a piece, it is THEIR pie!!Additionally, the t-shirts are not generic if they use copyrighted content on them.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 3 months ago

All valid musings JackRipper. I wouldn't disagree with the money going to the state though I'm sure it would be a hard sell considering the scholorships reported to be funded by them.Alas nothing in your reponse addresss the root issue for them pursuing litigation. The idea of the funds going to the state would even be hampered by the fact Joe-College is using trademarked material on his shirts for his own personal gain.It simply doesn't work that way. It's either your trademark or it's not. You don't get to use whatever you want just because the other guy has "enough money".

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