Matt Mead traveled to Super Ball IX filled with anticipation, restless excitement, and made 30 limited edition, high quality, 6 oz cotton T-shirts designed with a 4th of July Antelope design on the front and the back features Watkins Glen, a star with IX in it and the date commemorating the festival. On the inside collar, there is a screen printed tag that reads “Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul, you’ve got to run like an antelope out of control.” This shirt was part of a special edition release as part of his clothing company, Cess Clothing.
However, luck was not on his side. 15 of his shirts were confiscated and he was cited for illegal vending. Read about Matt’s story, one that has happened to many fans over the years and still a risk when making Phanart.
“My campsite was in the first row of cars closest to the entrance in Arkansas. As I was walking down the main drag towards the other states, I had the shirt on my shoulder, and a backpack of shirts. As I turned off the main strip into shakedown street area, a passer-by asked me what shirt I was selling. I held it up, he liked it, took out his wallet and was about to purchase one. Two rent-a-cops who showed no identification came up behind me on a golf cart, took the shirt out of my hands and saw the back said Watkins Glen. He alleged that it was a trademark violation: claiming I could not print Watkins Glen with the corresponding Super Ball dates on a shirt. Further, he also said that I was illegally vending. They literally took the backpack off from my back, asked me if I had any drugs, searched my bag, and took out the t-shirts from my bag. One of the guys laughed and remarked “Ha, you put a lot of time into this one didn’t you!?” He then demanded my ID, scanned it with his cell-phone, and then told me he had to take my picture. I refused to look at the camera and had my head turned to the side.”
“Passer-bys booed and taunted the rent-a-cops asking why I was having my merchandise confiscated. One of the guys said “Hey, don’t complain to me. It’s not us, it’s the band.” I asked what was going to be the result of all this and he said I would receive a letter from the band regarding the trademark violation and illegal vending. It really put a sour taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. I was pretty bummed, not to mention I was financially in the hole as the shirts were how I was going to finance the weekend. The rent-a-cop was right: I did put a lot of time into it. I only use high quality inks, fabrics, and meticulous design, You win some you lose some I guess.”
Matt only has three left (one Large and two XL’s). Each shirt is $20 with $5.50 shipping. This is a case where a fan fell into gray area and an example of the risk potential for all fans considering making their own Phanart. We have a community that is given a great amount of leeway with our fan made creations by the band and their management but not carte blanche. Matt’s story could be retold by dozens of others, from established artists to fans who got frustrated with their great idea being seized. It happens but the story just doesn’t get shared very often. In the interest of preventing this kind of incident in the future, check out previous articles on this topic here and here.
Weigh in below in the comments section. Have you ever had anything seized? Got a story to share or opinion on this or other stories? Post them below.
this shirt is now sold out