How would I design an original Yoda T-shirt?

Hello all,

A friend made a random comment to me that her dream T-shirt would be an image of Yoda from one of the Star Wars prequels, looking tough and stern, flanked by two attractive, overly made-up women, with a caption that reads “Yoda’s Bitches.” I guess a nice drawing might work if I couldn’t get a seamless photo illustration. Obviously such a thing doesn’t exist, but how could I go about making such an image? Photoshop, maybe, and then get it silk-screened? Maybe one of those '70s-looking retro iron-on patches?

I know all about copyright issues, but this would be a one-of-a-kind shirt, and I wouldn’t stand to make money from it in any way. It would just be a neat birthday present, and I’d love to produce this shirt (or have it commissioned) if at all possible.

Open your phone book and look for ‘T-Shirts’ or ‘Clothing’ or ‘Silk Screens’. You should be able to find someone there capable of doing it.

I know you said not to mention this but LucasFilm is pretty stern about protecting its trademarks. Even if you don’t stand to make any money they could get huffy.

You obviously don’t know all about copyright issues or you would know that making money or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether you’re violating copyright.

You may not want to hear this, but everybody who reads this should be made aware of it.

And I hope that legitimate commercial establishments wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot light saber.

I’ve got a t-shirt of a cartoon Yoda, as seen in the Clone Wars cartoons, pointing sternly “offstage,” with the caption “Pull my finger.”

I bought it at Disneyland.

yea, but one guy wearing a shirt?

maybe if he was presenting at an awards show or something. Even then he might have a (weak) fair use/satire argument to stand on. I don’t think they’d bother.

Dude, I’ve taken the classes, I’ve read the books. You don’t know me. You offered a warning, but was the condescending tone really necessary?

You’re admitting you studied copyright and you still make a mistake this basic? I wasn’t being condescending before, but I’ll happily be so now.

Why are you picking a fight with me?

Mods, please close this thread. I don’t want Exapno and I to end up in the Pit.

Right. Bringing up the issue of copyright here is totally absurd. Seriously. The OP mentioned this in the context of a one off shirt for his own personal use. For LucasFilm to pursue this, they’d need to actually be aware he did this. I guess it is theoretically possible a lawyer from LucasFilm might see him wearing it. However, the lawyer would then need to somehow prove that he was the one who made the shirt. How could they know he didn’t buy it from some pirate, and not realize this was a pirate shirt. And even if the lawyer could prove it, they’d have to take him to federal court to stop him from wearing it. Do you have any idea what the lawyer fees would be for that? It just wouldn’t be worth the money.

No, I’m not going to close the thread, but I am going to sternly admonish everyone: no personal insults in Cafe Society. Period.

The law is complicated, and it is possible for different people to have different opinions and perspectives. Ranging from the practical (but an opinion not permitted on our boards) view of rfgdxm that you probably wouldn’t get caught.

It’s true you probably wouldn’t get caught, but you probably wouldn’t get caught stealing gum from the grocery store, either. The bottom line here is that there’s a bigger issue than whether or not you’d be caught, or whether or not George Lucas has enough money to feed a third-world nation. The point is that it’s just not allowed. Period. And I think you’d have a pretty hard time finding a T-shirt place willing to do it for you anyway… hell even Kinko’s is starting to crack down on what they let people use their machines for.

Frankly, I think your idea is hilarious. I’d love to see it! But I’m not trying to pick a fight when I say you should probably just drop it, or maybe–<i>maybe</i>–try to alter Yoda’s appearance so much that you could argue it’s not supposed to be him if you had to, although that kind of defeats the purpose.

I have a friend who draws licensed Star Wars characters under contract from Lucasfilm. I can ask her what the rules are for you, if you like.

Back to the OP.

I’d create the image in photoshop.

You can take the image to a shop and have them put it on the shirt for you. You can also by iron on transfer paper for printers. I’ve not used them before so I’m not sure how well they work.

I think you should find a picture of yoda pointing right or left and have a caption that says “with stupid I am”

I think using a Lucasfilm licensed character for a non-profit parody t-shirt is acceptable as long as it’s your own work, and not using a copyrighted image.

I say this because Lucasfilm allows for fanfilms to be made, and does not come down on them legally as long as they do not make any profit from it. On top of that, he acknowledges and supports parodies using his characters, as evidenced in the Atom films fanfilm competition held each year.

My friend who does art for Lucasfilm says it should be fine, (unofficially) but she has been drawing Star Wars characters of her own and putting them on her web site for about 10 years, and long before she was officially signed up with Lucasfilm there was no legal recourse whatsoever - and I see this T-shirt idea as fitting into the same category.

What if he adds a ‘these characters are the sole copyright of Lucasfilm’ on the shirt somewhere?

This isn’t the shirt you’re looking for.

If I tattooed an image of Yoda on my butt would George Lucas sue me to have my butt removed?

I’ve used the inkjet printer iron ons, they’re pretty good actually.

Exapno Mapcase, ever heard of “fair use” law?

Here is a link to explain it “fair use” law

BBVL, I’d say go for it. Photoshop the Yoda with some hotties. He’s already got a cane, but don’t forget the pimp hat. :wink: I could even do the art for you, if you wanted…

Yes. But he’d give it back to you in CGI post production.

Sadly though, when you fart, it talks and sounds like Jar-Jar.

“Plaaaaat! Exsqueese me. Meesa so windy backa here”

IANAL, but another article on fair use and parady:
‘…But I know when I see it’ Parody, Copyright Law and the First Admendment

all above bolding mine
In our OP’s case, Yoda is the transformative object. From the meek and small, ugly dude, to the pimpin’ stud with a lightsabre somewhat larger than the others… if you know what I mean… It’s mocking the pious, monk like nature of the Lucas character by making it a sleazy, pimpin’ manwhore… a message that clearly conveys the way that Lucas himself has “sold out” with the last three Star Wars movies.

I made a quick photoshop of yoda with two chicks to show how the characters of the Star Wars movies, have been pimped out and sold to the masses in populous versions as a way to make Lucas more money. the image is here: