I Do Not Want This Post on a T-shirt
December 7, 2019 1:19 PM   Subscribe

The insanely specific T-shirt has been a staple of Twitter dunkings and Facebook "What the..." posts for a couple of years now, but the bots have recently stepped up from data mining to art theft, scanning for tweets like "I want this on a T-shirt!" and turning the picture or text in the tweet it's replying to into a T-shirt faster than you can say "The original artist doesn't get paid". Sometimes they even steal the idea from an actual T-shirt that someone else had created. The creators getting ripped off are fighting back creatively, including enlisting people to reply with "I want this on a T-shirt!" on every post on Disney's Twitter accounts to try to point the wrath of the Mouse's lawyers at offenders.
posted by Etrigan (25 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
I want those copyright lawyer baiting tshirts so bad but buying one is exactly contrary to the intended effect of the exercise I'm so conflicted.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:46 PM on December 7, 2019 [5 favorites]


I almost posted this to the Blue, but I figured someone else would do it for me. So, thanks :)

Machine-generated content is the new spam. It's almost impossible to find shirts or mugs on Etsy because of this stuff. Then there are these utterly bizarre children's videos on YouTube, and the glut of YouTube videos made by feeding web pages into text-to-speech synthesizers. (Note: you'll be helping a content spammer, ever so slightly, if you click on that last link.)

It's beyond cliche to say that we're living in a cyberpunk dystopia – but, I mean, we totally are.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:59 PM on December 7, 2019 [10 favorites]


I want those copyright lawyer baiting tshirts so bad but buying one is exactly contrary to the intended effect of the exercise I'm so conflicted.

IANAL, but I think if you bought one, you'd actually increase the damages that whoever swiped the design would need to pay out if Disney did decide to sue. But yeah, it would tend to encourage a sick system until that point.
posted by Aleyn at 2:11 PM on December 7, 2019


If you go to teezyli dot com right now (enable add blockers and tracking protections), it's pretty entertaining to see a bunch of lawyer-summoning T-Shirts for sale. Note that this is a typosquat on https://www.teezILY.com/.
posted by suetanvil at 2:59 PM on December 7, 2019


(And I just saw it referenced in the Cracked article. Oops.)
posted by suetanvil at 3:00 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]


Okay, now can someone explain the weird shit that pops in ads for the Wish app? In one day, I was shown strips of teeth, a terrifying metal mask, a tumescent man in sheer underpants, and fake pimples being squeezed out of fake skin.
posted by LindsayIrene at 3:06 PM on December 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


Also, let me drop my favorite T-Shirt bot here. It procedurally generates T-Shirt designs and toots them on Mastodon. (They're also available for sale, though.)
posted by suetanvil at 3:19 PM on December 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


If you go to teezyli dot com right now (enable add blockers and tracking protections), it's pretty entertaining to see a bunch of lawyer-summoning T-Shirts for sale.

Screencapped on Mltshp, for your enjoyment and safety.

My addition to (semi) auto-generated shirts: I want "This" on a t-shirt.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:27 PM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]


Okay, now can someone explain the weird shit that pops in ads for the Wish app? In one day, I was shown strips of teeth, a terrifying metal mask, a tumescent man in sheer underpants, and fake pimples being squeezed out of fake skin.
What the hell have you been googling? :)
posted by Horkus at 3:39 PM on December 7, 2019 [7 favorites]


flt: I loved this one:

SORRY... THIS
WOMAN IS ALREADY
TAKEN BY AN
ADORABLE.
SCORPIO. FORENSIC
PATHOLOGIST

I mean, I would wear that and I'm a cis AMAB.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:44 PM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]


Sorry, that was suetanvil's link
posted by sjswitzer at 3:46 PM on December 7, 2019


My husband is somewhat atypical of his line of work (late 30s, male, not religious) but we’re both racking our brains trying to figure out how many of his fellow church secretaries would actually self-identify as the “No. 1 Asshole Ever
posted by armeowda at 6:17 PM on December 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


I love that the scraper bots are getting fed a lot of chaff but I find it unlikely that any of these sites will face any kind of legal threat. If Reply All's forays into the weird underbelly of tech hustling has taught me anything trying to sue any of these sites will be like attacking a puff of smoke.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:40 PM on December 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


I will pay $25/month for a search engine that excludes any purchasing options from the results. The web is like somebody digitized shitty 1980s phoenix strip malls and k-tel commercials.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:59 PM on December 7, 2019 [13 favorites]


K-Tel's "20 Power Hits" was the first album I ever purchased, so, tread lightly...

And, this dystopian capitalist tech weirdness just makes me laugh. Completely bonkers.
posted by Windopaene at 7:35 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]


Man I want this "Copyright Infringement" [imgur link] T-Shirt so bad.
posted by Mitheral at 7:48 PM on December 7, 2019 [3 favorites]


<pedantry>Actually, it's trademark infringement.</pedantry>
posted by suetanvil at 10:52 PM on December 7, 2019 [5 favorites]


I love that the scraper bots are getting fed a lot of chaff but I find it unlikely that any of these sites will face any kind of legal threat. If Reply All's forays into the weird underbelly of tech hustling has taught me anything trying to sue any of these sites will be like attacking a puff of smoke.

Part of the problem is lack of incentive. Shirts that say "copyright infringement" or with handdrawn stuff are a nice joke to laugh at as you scroll down the timeline, and all, but if you want the mouse's lawyers to get pissy, you really ought to be pulling images and designs straight from shopdisney.com and whatnot, and getting those scraped off twitter for sale. That'll sour the punch.
posted by kafziel at 2:57 AM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


1. This is saddenlingly cyberpunk dystopian

2 kafziel specific, identifiable Disney images have been targetted for this explicit reason and all that happens is that *those particularly shirt pages are taken down* the bot scraping websites as a whole stay up

It seeems like once particular instances are dealt with, even the Disney Behemouth doesnt want to be bothered with removing the source of the problem.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:31 AM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Instead of the Mouse, get their credit card processor involved. Set up a series of bots to create accounts, follow each other, post explicit images and comment about shirts. Twitter plays wack a mole with crazy suit all the time anyway, so it's not going to add anymore work to the busy task of ignoring Nazis. If uncensored screen shots of pornography start showing up on these sites, their credit card processors will drop the service. They'd need real people to watch for adult material, which kills the profitability. Porn is scarier than copyright infringement, this is how you hurt then.
posted by Hactar at 9:44 AM on December 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


Actually, it's trademark infringement.

Both really. The registered trademarks are composed of copyrighted art.
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 AM on December 8, 2019


Some people sound exhausting.
posted by bongo_x at 1:18 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Mitheral and anyone else who wants that Copyright Infringement shirt as much as I do, it's on Tshirt Hell (I think/hope they are the original source).
posted by polymath at 10:45 PM on December 8, 2019


SORRY... THIS
WOMAN IS ALREADY
TAKEN BY AN
ADORABLE.
SCORPIO. FORENSIC
PATHOLOGIST


Many years ago I saw a Hong Kong T-shirt reading:

"Right now I am busy
engaged in sexy rock
'n' roll and motorcycle".

Only humans wrote T-shirt slogans in those days, and I think this one must have been produced by someone trying to string together every teenage buzz word he could think of. Much the same process that leads Westerners to tattoo themselves with Chinese symbols they can't read, I guess.
posted by Paul Slade at 6:05 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


If the more people see themselves reflected in a piece of apparel, the more they instantly smash that buy button, the logical extreme must be a Borgesian perfect map of one's innermost psyche and social signifiers all printed on a wife-beater. Turning a person inside out.
posted by Rich Text at 7:36 PM on December 15, 2019


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