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You Can’t Disparage Skreened When Wearing Skreened Shirts. The Lawyers Tell You So.

We use the Ohio-based shop Skreened for printing our sweat-free shirts, but I’ve got to say this part of their User Agreement, applying to everyone using their website, is almost completely assholic:

PUBLIC REPUTATION

You acknowledge and agree that you will not use any product ordered from the Site in a way that would be damaging to Skreened’s public reputation or that of its employees, board members, shareholders, licensors, or solution partners. Additionally, you acknowledge that if you choose to display any product ordered from Skreened, in a public setting, including on the Internet, in a way which disparages Skreened, Skreened’s board members, employees, shareholders or partners, Skreened reserves the right to demand immediate return of the product, to furthermore pursue all recourses and remedies available under the law.

This means that if you get a defective shirt from Skreened, you can’t show the botched print online. It means that you can’t do anything ironic regarding the shirt that someone might take the wrong way. It means you can’t make fun of the Skreened company — or its “employees, board members, shareholders, licensors, or solution partners” while wearing one of their shirts. It means you can’t make a public fool of yourself or be offensive while wearing a Skreened shirt, because it might hurt Skreened’s reputation. This has got to be one of the lamest Terms of Service I’ve read in quite some time.

Don’t like the user agreement? Didn’t even read it before you got your shirt? Well, Skreened would like to let you know you can sit and spin, because “your use of this site shall be deemed to be your agreement to abide by each of the terms set forth below.”

Oh, dear. Did talking about this idiotic, dehumanizing, utterly corporate, completely not-of-the-street at all User Agreement just harm’s Skreened’s public reputation? Well, tough cookies, Skreened, ’cause right now I’m not wearing one of your shirts.

Update, 8:45… oh lookie. Zazzle, another shirt producer that isn’t quite as ethical as Skreened in choosing its shirt sources, has almost exactly the same idiotic disparagement clause in its User Agreement:

Public Reputation

You acknowledge and agree that you will not use any Product ordered from the Site in a way that would be damaging to Zazzle’s public reputation or that of its employees, board members, shareholders, licensors, or solution partners. Additionally, you acknowledge that if you choose to display any product including custom postage ordered from Zazzle, in a public setting, including on the Internet, in a way which disparages Zazzle, Zazzle’s board members, employees, shareholders or partners, or the United States Postal Service, Zazzle reserves the right to demand immediate return of the product, to furthermore pursue all recourses and remedies available under the law, and, in the case of Zazzle Custom Stamps, to invalidate your Zazzle Custom Stamps via cancellation of the bar code.

Also check out the two companies’ Intellectual Property clauses:

Skreened Intellectual Property Policy:

Skreened respects the intellectual property rights of others. We ask our users to do the same. Skreened may terminate the accounts of users who appear to infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others without notice. Skreened reserves the right to cancel any pending payments or, in it’s sole discression, not pay any ledger ballance, in whole or in part, of a user who has violated the intellectual property rights of another party regardless of the content sold.

If you believe that your Content has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright and/or trademark infringement, please notify Skreened’s Copyright Agent, and provide the following information (“Notice”):

1. an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright/trademark interest;
2. a description of the copyrighted work and/or trademark claimed to have been infringed;
3. a description of where the claimed infringing Content is located on our Site;
4. your address, telephone number, and email address
5. a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright/trademark owner, its agent, or the law;
6. a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your Notice is accurate and that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright/trademark interest involved.

Zazzle Intellectual Property Policy

Zazzle respects the intellectual property rights of others. We ask our users to do the same. Zazzle may terminate the accounts of users who infringe, or may infringe, the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that your Content has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright and/or trademark infringement, please notify Zazzle’s Copyright Agent, and provide the following information (“Notice”):

a) an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright/trademark interest;
b) a description of the copyrighted work and/or trademark claimed to have been infringed;
c) a description of where the claimed infringing Content is located on our Site;
d) your address, telephone number, and email address;
e) a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright/trademark owner, its agent, or the law;
f) a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your Notice is accurate and that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright/trademark interest involved.

Hilarious. Somewhere, the original author is crying for lack of full citation. Oh, sob. Oh, weep.

I know there are bigger problems in the world, but sometimes it’s the tiny loads of bullcrap that push me over the edge. Oh, sob. Oh, weep.

Update Numero Dos, 9:00 AM: T-shirt vendor Thompson Punke (lift that pinky when you mousse your mohawk, it ends with an e) has a similar disparagement policy

You acknowledge and agree that you will not use any product ordered from the Site in a way that would be damaging to Thompson Punke’s public reputation or that of its employees, board members, shareholders, licensors, or solution partners. Additionally, you acknowledge that if you choose to display any product from Thompson Punke, in a public setting, including on the Internet, in a way which disparages Thompson Punke, Thompson Punke’s board members, employees or shareholders or partners, Thompson Punke reserves the right to demand immediate return of the product, to furthermore pursue all recourses and remedies available under the law.

This coming from a company that sells a shirt with a massive extended middle finger on the front of it.

How edgy, hip and … wait, no, how completely corporate, uptight and utterly bland of you, Thompson Punke with an e. These uptight legalesers say they’re “badass players” building a brand that’s a “little bit rude and a little bit crude.” But don’t make their shirts look bad or they’ll make you return the product — in a badass way, I’m sure. Shizzle and all that. With an e.

2 comments to You Can’t Disparage Skreened When Wearing Skreened Shirts. The Lawyers Tell You So.

  • Bill

    I think you should place an order with them for a shirt reading “I Ordered A Stupid Tee-Shirt From Skreened And All I Got Was This Stupid Tee-Shirt From Skreened,” then wear it while standing outside their corporate headquarters. Their attorneys will implode into tiny black holes trying to parse out whether that’s an infringement of the non-disparagement clause or not.

  • Cracks me up that the Intellectual Property clause was plagiarized. Wonder if they have the same lawyers?

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