The previous shirt design included this 25 × 32 icon from the original 1984 Macintosh. On the final day of his previous T-shirt sale, after more than 900 shirts had been ordered, the original icon’s artist emailed John and me — I was copied because the artist mistakenly thought I had something to do with the shirt — with a passive-aggressive, thinly veiled copyright threat.
The artist had no right to make such a threat. Only Apple could, and if their legal department saw the shirt and objected, they could have filed a simple DMCA claim with Teespring. But they didn’t, because who cares if a guy with a podcast makes a one-off run of a thousand T-shirts for a bunch of geeks like us with a 29-year-old icon consisting of three rectangles, two lines, and 17 loose pixels?
Nobody. I believe that it’s even fair use. But the artist made John feel so guilty that he voluntarily asked Teespring to cancel the sale and forfeit a sizable chunk of money because he’s a nice guy and didn’t want any trouble.
Good on John for coming up with a second t-shirt (which I’ve purchased, and recommend you do as well) and I’m glad Marco was able to clear up what the problem was. I previously thought it was a call from Apple legal but if you read his article in its entirety (and pay attention to the footnotes), you’ll see what the real reason was.