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FIGHT! or something.
I was quite angry when I first saw it. No one asked us. They’re trading off the band and our album cover, but get away with it by apparently saying the design was ‘inspired’ by us. I don’t like the design at all. It’s horrible. I can’t imagine any Joy Division fans wearing it. Or anyone for that matter.
But precedent suggests they'd have a better chance if they were fictional characters rather than actual people.
They don't own the image, do they? I remember some Italian hardcore band using the exact same image on their official t-shirts a few years ago. The same as the JD one, not the Disney one... And I'm pretty sure, even if they did own it, you can't copyright a "style" of "white lines on a black background".
It's a judge-made law of "unregistered trademarks". Sort of.
If they can demonstrate that, roughly, people think that there's some sort of economic link between Joy Division and Disney because of those t-shirts, then they might win a passing off action against them.
I brought up fictional characters because, while ABBA didn't have much luck in the 70s with stopping unofficial merchandise with their images on it, a few years back someone did successfully bring a passing off action with respect to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clothes. Eddie Irvine managed to bring a successful passing off action against Talksport relatively recently, but the circumstances were pretty different (doctored photo of him with a "Talksport" radio, which was no such thing).
So I stand by "half a chance". Maybe downgrading it to a quarter, though.
Unanimous decision that if it was an unofficial t-shirt it would be bought by Camden market shoppers in their droves.
people who buy/wear it: bellends
people who complain about other people buying/wearing/selling it: bellends
people who sell it: possibly not bellends (but in all honesty they probably are)
this whole story: written and read by bellends
Glad to have been of help.