Remember when I told you about the most awesome Rangers t-shirt going? Yeah, well, Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers apparently didn’t think it was so awesome. Or maybe they thought it was too awesome. In either case, they shut down the website for the “That’s how baseball go” guys. The shirt guys got cease-and-desist letters from both MLB and the Rangers. The Rangers said the shirt guys had appropriated the image of Ron Washington. The team also said in its C&D letter that it has filed for a copyright on the phrase “That’s how baseball go.” This according to Ricky Thiot, the shirt guy who started the whole deal. Thiot says he’d like to explore selling what he believes is his intellectual property to the team, but for now he’s waiting to hear back from his attorney.
As someone who works at a magazine, I’m all for protecting copyrights and trademarks. Absolutely. But I have a hard time believing that printing that “likeness” of Ron Washington violates any trademarks. Seems to me that that’s an original work of art. Now, as the for the copyright on the phrase “That’s how baseball go,” doesn’t that depend on who filed for it first? This is above my pay grade. I’m sure you law-practicing FrontBurnervians will set us straight — or at least inform us — in the comments.