Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Totally Unofficial D&D Sweatshirt (with ripped off MM 1e art)

Listen, I get it. Lots of us want some of the classic D&D and AD&D art on shirts and shit. For personal use, have at it. But when you sell stuff using a trademark you don't have rights to and art that you haven't licensed, that's where you cross the line.

Case in point:

Alien Body

52.50 for the sweatshirt above. Only available in Small - all other sizes are "Sold Out".

Besides the fact that the design is shitty, using a trademark and art you don't have rights to is even shittier.


  1. I love supporting talented creators through Kickstarter, Patreon, etc., to say nothing of just buying books and art. At the same time, I think the concept of intellectual property is morally and economically bankrupt.

    You needn't share my perspective, however, to still reach the conclusion that this is "harmless fun" rather than an "abomination." It's a plain fact that Disney and other corporations have played politics to provide themselves with immensely profitable monopolies by extending copyright terms far beyond what was considered reasonable at the dawn of the republic. Under the terms originally adopted, all of that art would have gone into the public domain quite a few years ago.

    As for the design, I have no idea how many of each size were produced, but it seems plausible that there's a fair number of people that like it. I definitely do, and would give serious thought to purchasing one if Large was still available.

    1. Never said it was an "abomination", I just feel its a shitty shirt using art it has no rights to AND is using a trademark it has no rights to use.

    2. I don't often chime in here but this one hits a little too close to my background to let pass. And while I think the current copyright system has issues, from my copyright classes getting my Masters of Library Science degree I at least understand why it is the way it is and thought I'd share.

      Yes, many corporations, especially Disney, helped push through the last major update to copyright law (in the 90's) that extended the copyright limits to their current lengths. However, had they not done so, US creators of any sort would have zero copyright protection in any other country in the world without applying for copyright individually in each country. You see, as the time, the US had shorter copyright periods than many other countries in the world and without the US extending our limit, they were not willing to enter mutual copyright agreements with the US. So the extension brought the US into agreement with those countries and allowed for US copyright to be recognized in foreign counties and vice versa. It's way more complicated than that simple summary but that is the gist of it.

      For what it is worth, the last time (around 2012) that they tried to extend copyright limits it didn't pass and it is very likely with the current mood (similar to maasenstodt's) it won't be attempted again. And the US isn't even the longest period. In Mexico, it's life of the author +100 years, instead of the +70 in the US and Europe.

    3. The "abomination" and "harmless fun" quotes are taken directly from the shirt itself.

  2. its ugly as fuck and white? Its not the early '90s anymore, different color shirts aren't expensive to make anymore.

    1. the yellow shirt is totally out of stock. No idea if it were ever in stock...

  3. This isn't really a "Dungeons and Dragons" shirt, as much as it's a "Satanic Panic" shirt, so I don't really see any moral wrongdoing with the product.

    A few years back, one of the officially licensed merch companies sold a DA Trampier minotaur shirt, with the BECMI Dungeons and Dragons logo. It was a sweet shirt! If this Alien Body company tried to do something similar... like use the Tramp Lich illo plus the Quentin "AD&D" logo, that would be an immoral cash in (despite also being a sweet design). But this product is more of a mish-mash of 80s fantasy culture, so I'd give it a pass.

    In fact, I'm going to file this whole blog post under the occasional "Tenkar Yells at Cloud" category.

    1. All the art is from the 1e MM. The shirt is literally titled: Dungeons and Dragons Crewneck Sweater.

      I might be yelling at a cloud, but this is STILL an immoral cash in IMHO.

    2. Agreed. Just because the product looks like crap and I have no interest in it doesn't make it ok IMO.


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