White Collar Criminals

Sunn O))) are Peeved That Someone is Aping Their Aped Logo

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Even if you’re not a Sunn O))) fan, you’re probably familiar with the band’s logo, which is quite distinctive:sunn O))) logoHere’s the thing, though — the band didn’t design that logo! And I don’t mean the way most bands didn’t design their label but, rather, hired an artist to create something cool for them — I mean Sunn O))) took their name and logo from the Sunn Musical Equipment Company. sunn headAnd it’s not as though Sunn O))) have tried to hide this fact… indeed, they’d be pretty dumb if they did try to hide this fact, given that, y’know, they’re using someone else’s logo.

I’ve provided this little typographic history lesson so that you understand how odd this is: Redbubble, “an online marketplace for print on demand products based on user submitted artwork,” has just sent a cease and desist to a MetalSucks reader, Minneapolis’ Tyler B., who sells art on that site under the handle “The Doom Shine.” The cause of the C&D? Apparently, this design…Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.59.35 PM

…is somehow a copyright violation (click to enlarge):Sunn O))) DMCAIt’s possible that Sunn O))) did acquire the legal copyright to the Sunn Musical Equipment Company’s logo at some point (that company folded in 2002)… but getting cranky about someone else parodying your logo, which wasn’t originally your logo anyway, seems odd, doesn’t it? Whatever Sunn O)))’s justification for using someone else’s logo in the first place might have been — e.g., “It’s an homage,” or whatever — should apply here, shouldn’t it? If nothing else, I’d think the Doom O))) design would be considered a parody, to which the usual copyright laws don’t apply.

I suppose it’s also possible that Sunn O))) had nothing to do with this, and someone is just fucking with The Doom Shine. Although Red Bubble does claim to have confirmed that the complaint did, indeed, come from the band’s Stephen O’ Malley.

We’ve reached out to O’Malley for a comment, but as of this writing, haven’t heard back. We’ll let you know when/if we do.

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