And I have a Mechanix Ldt. cap to wear while I'm wrenching in my garage. I just finished about eight hours building and adjusting a $1500 jigsaw puzzle Draftmaster bike rack.
My sweet wife said "Ugh, another logo-ed T-shirt." (We try to keep logos out of the house.) Maybe I'll add it to my collectable T-shirts - Green Card Lawyers heirloom (by Joel Furr) and Moody Blues collection.
Thank you very much!
He also created and sold t-shirts after the "Green Card" spamming incident carried out by Canter & Siegel.
What happened between Joel and those "Green Card" lawyers in Arizona?
In 1994, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, the so-called "Green Card Lawyers,"
were probably the most disliked people on Usenet. Their actions -- spamming
repeatedly and then managing to convince the mainstream media that they were the
wronged parties w hen their messages were erased -- made them extremely
unpopular. Consequently, Joel Furr was asked by many people to make a t-shirt
satirizing them. (Furr had previously made and sold about 150 copies of a
t-shirt satirizing Ahmet "Serdar Argic" Cosar.) When he designed and began
taking orders for a "Green Card Lawyers: Spamming the Globe" t- shirt, Canter
and Siegel got wind of it and threatened Joel with "severe" legal action unless
he removed the term "Green Card Lawyers" from the shirts.
Canter and Siegel based their threats on two claims, both legally without a
shred of foundation:
Claim #1: They had exclusive trademark over the term "Green Card Lawyers," a
term they had never used in trade and which in fact they had no rights to
whatsoever. Legally, if you want to be able to assert a common-law trademark
over a term, you must have used that term in trade. Canter and Siegel had never
used that term as part of their business, so they had no rights to it
Claim #2: They had exclusive rights to produce or license the rights to produce
a t-shirt based on their exploits, and that "several large companies" were
already interested in marketing C&S-based shirts. Needless to say, no companies
ever produced such a shirt - and in any case, they certainly had no right to
prevent someone else from exercising their freedom of speech by producing
t-shirts satirizing them.
During an exchange of email over the matter, Canter and Siegel betrayed a
complete lack of knowledge of the law - or, if you want to ascribe to malice
what others ascribed to stupidity, were engaged in barratry, the use of legal
threats for harassment reasons. Canter and Siegel said that the concept of
"public figures" being considered legally vulnerable to satire was complete
nonsense, and they repeatedly asserted their trademark claim over a term they
had never filed for trademark over and which they couldn't even claim common law
trademark over since they had never used the term in trade. It was easy to see,
after a short round of discussions with them, why they'd had to sue to be
permitted to resign from the Florida Bar several years ago in an effort to avoid
Furr was panicked after receiving their threats, because although he knew that
their claims were absolute garbage, he also knew that he didn't have the
financial resources to deal with a lawsuit brought by two lawyers in a state two
thousand miles from his home. He considered taking the term "Green Card
Lawyers" off the shirts, but first, asked for suggestions and comments from the
readers of newsgroups like comp.org.eff.talk and misc.legal.
Two days of absolute pandemonium followed. Joel began getting hundreds of offers
of free legal help and donations to a Joel Furr Defense Fund. Thankfully, Mike
Godwin, Chief Legal Counsel of the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, also heard
of the matter and offered the EFF's services in the case to defend Furr in any
legal matters that did develop. Heartened, Joel publicly said "To hell with the
lawyers, the shirts are going forward with the original design, let them sue."
Canter and Siegel promptly began claiming that they had never made any threats
whatsoever and that it was all a fiction invented by Joel Furr. In later months,
after the "Green Card Lawyers" shirts had sold like hotcakes (the result of
Canter and Siegel's effort to prevent their sale altogether), Canter and Siegel
went around claiming that Furr had actually contacted them first and asked for
permission to make the shirts and that they'd just told him to go away and not
talked to him again. Since Furr had kept all the email they'd sent him and had
it handy to show anyone who asked, this absurd claim was easily disproven.
Canter and Siegel went on to publish a book about the Internet entitled "How To
Make a Fortune on the Information Superhighway" which, from all accounts, was a
pedestrian and rather lame ghost-written Net guide with a sad little chapter or
two at the end declaring the authors champions of spamming. They then tried to
run a spam-for-hire service which collapsed when no one would sell them net
access, and after a few notable fiascoes which introduced the Net to the concept
of "disposable accounts" (dial-up shell accounts used for spamming with the
full knowledge that the provider would angrily delete the account once the
spamming had taken place), Canter and Siegel more or less vanished from sight.
What a pity.