I made a goofy t-shirt design that has one of my photos with a Volkswagen bug in it. I put it up for sale on Cafepress.

volkswagen bug photo for sale

Well it turns out that this is not allowed. I got a friendly letter from Cafepress saying that Volkswagen’s lawyer, Gregory D. Phillips, from the law offices of Howard, Phillips & Andersen, informed them that my shirt was infringing on their intellectual property rights. Cafepress’s letter was quite nice though:

We realize that you are a dedicated fan and are expressing such through your art work, as only a true fan could. That being said, feel free to contact Volkswagen of America directly to voice your concerns about not being able to express you true love for the automobile. You are, after all, part of the fan base and, more importantly, part of the purchasing public and have assisted in creating greater sales of the automobiles, and have helped elevate the VW properties to their current cult status. Please find the contact information for Volkswagen of America and their representative below if you want to share your concerns.

Personally, I think it’s ridiculous. The Volkswagen was obstructing my photo of the pizza shop. If they don’t want their cars to be photographed, they should not sell them, or at least warn owners not to park them in front of anything that might need to be photographed.

Anyway, as I am currently uninterested misrepresenting myself as a “dedicated fan.” Nor do I want to contribute to the “current cult status” of such an unreliable brand of automobile (sorry Danie if you’re reading this). I will not attempt to sell this t-shirt anymore.