Screenwave/Retroware's Copyright-Infringing T-Shirts

They can’t blame The Ideas Man for this one.  So which intern is going to take the fall this time?

There are six shirts.  By default, they’re listed from most popular to least popular.  That’s the order that I’ll be reviewing each shirt.

These shirts are all $30 each.  They’re all in the “premium” range.  You can see the full “premium” range here:

It’s mostly just the Retroware shirts and, inexplicably, a Shit Pickle shirt that nobody would possibly want to buy.  But interestingly, the Shit Pickle shirt is apparently a bigger seller than all of the Retroware stuff.  Maybe that’s because the Retroware stuff is newer.

But most of the shirts that they sell are $20.  Here’s the Cinemassacre collection:

What’s the difference between the shirts?  Are the premium ones better quality?  Thicker material?  We don’t know.  No explanation given.

Oh, I should mention that Retroware is the new name for Screenwave.  Ryan is rebranding the company because the Screenwave name has become completely toxic.  So just change the name and do the same bullshit you’ve been doing that caused the problems to begin with.  It’s not going to work but a lot of scumbag companies will do this.  They’ll get a lot of negative reviews on the internet, business will drop, so they’ll shut down and start a new company as a new name.  I’ve seen this a lot with letting agents, who are always scumbags.

So here’s the first shirt:

That bears a striking similarity to the Nintendo 64 logo.  They’ve seemingly even rebranded yet again to Retroware 64.  

There’s an in-house lawyer at Screenwave.  I’ve seen his Twitter profile before.  It’s a great big fat guy.  Of course.  

Anyway, why would this guy sign off on this design?  Did Ryan even run this shirt past him?  It’s clearly the Nintendo 64 logo.  

You see stuff like this all the time in the t-shirt market.  Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes urinating on a Ford logo or whatever.  I don’t think that either Bill Watterson or the Ford Motor Company authorised these shirts.  

But if either one of these entities wanted to sue the makers of these shirts, they’d win no problem.  But who’s going to sue some guy cranking t-shirts out in his basement?

Screenwave/Retroware is a legitimate company.  Well, kind of.  They should not be doing this.

And yeah, it’s common for nerd companies to tweak an existing logo of some nerd shit and put it on a t-shirt.  It’s not a direct copy.  Maybe they change it just enough so that it’s not copyright infringement.  But it’s still pathetic.


And the only reason that it wasn’t a 10 is because it’s not the exact Nintendo 64 logo of an “N”.

Here’s the next shirt:

I’ve definitely seen something like this somewhere.  In an anime or a video game or something.  And if I’ve seen it, somebody who doesn’t watch hardly any anime or play hardly any cyberpunk video games, this must be really common.

And the URL has “qbert” in it.  I didn’t get it at first but it’s because of the “@!#?” shit, I guess.  Q-Bert communicates like this in the game.  So they’ve ripped that off as well.  They’re ripping off two things here.  I don’t know what connection there is between Q-Bert and cyberpunk, though.

But I’ve definitely seen this…it’s from like a billboard in some anime version of Japan.  It’s probably in a lot of things.  Maybe this is just how Japan has their commercial signage.  Vertical like this.  In downtown Tokyo, anyway.  But yeah, you see in a lot of anime and cyberpunk games.  I think.  

Plagiarism score: 7

For the previous shirts, they were slightly coy about what they were ripping off.  Here, they just announce it.  They’re ripping off Tiger Handheld games.  They put the word “Tiger” in both the product description and the URL.

This reminds me.  Going back to the first shirt, the Nintendo 64 one, the URL has “copy-of-retroware-logo-black-t-shirt”.  This is unusual because in all of the other shirts, they have a more accurate product description.  They have “qbert” in the Q-bert shirt and “Tiger” in the Tiger handheld shirt.  

So logically, they should have “n64” or “Nintendo” or something in the URL of the first shirt.  But they don’t.  They just have this weird “copy of retroware logo black t-shirt” URL.  And they do have a black t-shirt that this is what they’re referencing.

I suspect that the original URL did have “Nintendo” or something in it.  But then the fatass lawyer working for them said, “No, we should probably change that” and Kieran, or whoever was working on the site, just took the URL for the black t-shirt and added the word “copy”.  Because he’s lazy as fuck and not getting paid enough to come up with a descriptive URL.

Back to this Tiger Handheld shirt.  It’s just straight up ripping off Tiger Handhelds.  I don’t know if you can copyright a controller layout but if you can, whoever owns Tiger’s intellectual property can take Screenwave/Retroware to the cleaners on this one.  I don’t know how much money the company or companies have but it must be something.  Maybe they can go after Ryan personally.  Make his sell that mansion he lives in and the hundreds of arcade machines that he has.

I’d like to see court officers hauling arcade cabinets out of Ryan’s home.  Just wheel those things out, put them on a truck, and send them to Tiger’s corporate headquarters as payment for a copyright infringement judgement.  

Plagiarism score: 8

It’s a very slightly altered Atari logo.  They were even brave enough to put “Atari” in the URL because Nintendo might sue but it’s unlikely that whoever owns the Atari copyrights has the time or money to sue.

It’s recognisable as the Atari logo but at least they changed it up a bit.  Not like the N64 logo which is just blatant.  They used a different letter but otherwise it’s the exact same logo.  This Atari one can at least be considered “inspired by” as opposed to “direct rip off”.

Plagiarism score: 6

This is supposed to be an arcade board.  I guess it is.  I don’t know if it’s based on a specific arcade board or if different boards look much different anyway.  In any event, I don’t think that you can copyright the look of arcade boards.  

But again the URL is strange.  All they did was take the URL from the Atari logo shirt and remove the “1”.  Or, more likely, this URL was the first one and then they added the “1” to the other one.  But then why isn’t this one the one with the “1” in it?  Because this shirt has nothing to do with Atari.  Maybe it’s based on an Atari arcade board.  

Anyway, is it the chubby Asian woman who’s modelling these shirts?  As here:

She’s modelling half of these shirts.  And she doesn’t look so chubby here.  Is it the same woman as before?  I think it is.

Yeah, it definitely is.  Maybe she lost weight.  

Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.  Smokeshow, babe.  You’re looking fantastic.

Oh, and she’s in front of the fucking Hack the Movies set.  Why aren’t they doing something with this woman?  Tony brings all of these fucking losers on, who have nothing going on upstairs, can’t talk for shit, and aren’t much to look at while you’ve got a hot Asian chick right here.  And I’ve heard her talk.  She can speak.  She’s the most erudite person at Screenwave, for what little that’s worth.

I’m sure that they’ve asked her and she just doesn’t want to do it.  It’s unfortunate.  

Plagiarism score: 3

Just a black shirt with the logo.  No other design.  No other colours.  But black is slimming so that’s what the fat fucks who might buy this shit need.

Plagiarism score: 1

So as I said, these shirts are sorted according to sales figures.  So the Nintendo 64 shirt sold the most and the plain black shirt sold the least.

There’s a direct correlation between plagiarism score and sales.  The more a design is ripping off an existing logo or whatever, the higher the sales.  

This is clearly a lesson that Screenwave has learned.  They’re all about ripping off other people’s ideas at Screenwave.  They don’t have any original ideas of their own.  

This is why Newt thrived there for so long.  But then he went too far.  You can’t rip off other people’s work verbatim.  You have to change it a teeny, tiny bit.  Then it’s okay.  

If Newt was in charge of these t-shirts, he would just straight up turn it into a bootleg distribution centre.  Sell fake Gap shirts and whatnot.  Whatever brings in the sales.

But here’s my crazy idea: come up with an ORIGINAL design.  I’ll bet that they’d sell.

You don’t even have to outsource this.  Kieran went to art school or something.  He made cartoons.  You’re telling me that Kieran can’t come up with an original t-shirt design?  

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  Just stylise the letter “R”, for example.  Work from that.  He could have something whipped up in an hour.  Then you can tweak it.  See what looks good.  Whatever.  Put the effort in.  Don’t just rip off existing logos.

Anyway, if you’d like to vote on your favourite shirt, you can do so on my subreddit:

Voting closes in six days.

8 thoughts on “Screenwave/Retroware's Copyright-Infringing T-Shirts

  1. The word you're looking for is eloquent, not erudite. Some fat chong is not gonna have in depth knowledge on jack shit except maybe flavors of Pocky.

  2. No, the issue is that it's completely mindless. I write things that can be construed as racist but there's an element of social commentary to it. I'm not just listing racial epithets.

  3. To be really, really fair to my tastes, the hair lol. I went to college around a lot of asian women and I just prefer straight black or brown with highlights.Rest is fine though, agree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *