UPDATE: T-shirt design controversy resolved

UPDATE — Thursday, October 29 11:55 a.m.

The controversy over a t-shirt design has been resolved.

Yooper Shirts LLC says that the issue of potential copyright infringement by Walmart is no more. According to information from Yooper Shirts, the T-shirts in question were produced in Iowa.

The company that made the shirts has agreed to destroy the artwork in question and has requested that the Marquette Walmart remove all of the merchandise in question from the store.

ISHPEMING — ABC 10 has learned of a recent possible bootleg incident taking place in the Upper Peninsula, that’s riling up opposition on Instagram.

Yooper Shirts owner Jeremy Symons alleges that Walmart in Marquette has been selling a design he created in 2011, without permission.


“So a friend of mine was walking through Walmart in Marquette, Michigan today and saw this hoodie for sale (pic on the right). It’s a bootleg version of our original “SNOW XING” design (screen shot on the left) that was created back in December of 2011,” said Symons on Instagram.

A few things to note: The design is not copyrighted and may have been used as early as the ’70s with snowmobile clubs in the Keweenaw. Walmart has not had the opportunity yet to comment on the matter, but it should be made clear that the store does not manufacture clothing. The store makes contracts with clothing and design creators and sells the merchandise. Symons says when he created the design in 2011 he had not seen anything similar before his prints.

“It’s bad enough that locals want to emulate our designs but now the big guys want a piece too?? When is enough, enough, WALMART? Today is the day the little guy fights back and says WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN to these large corporations! We design & screen print everything ourselves at our shop in downtown Ishpeming. We’re all Yoopers and spend our money locally! Let’s make this post go viral and let people know this is unacceptable behavior. Thanks in advance!”

Another recent incident where a designer caught Target selling a stolen design recieved national attention. The super store since removed the shirts from the shelves. Read more.

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