“Popular sports league” to Knicklyn: Cease and desist

A couple of weeks ago we brought you Knicklyn, created by Brooklyn-dwelling Knicks fan Mike Sorisi to bring together fans he thought were being overlooked in the media coverage of the Nets’ invasion of our fair borough.

Response to Knicklyn on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and tumblr had been enthusiastic, so enthusiastic that Sorisi recently started selling a line of Knicklyn gear, an endeavor that is about to come to a screeching halt.

From Sorisi today:

“Knicklyn has been pressured by a popular sports league to temporarily restrict the online sale of all “Knicklyn” goods and apparel or face substantial legal action.  Despite meeting with and receiving clearance from several trademark lawyers prior to the launch of the site, this large sports association still feels the “Knicklyn” logo infringes upon their trademarks and intellectual properties.  We have attempted to reach an amicable agreement with said sports league but were left with only two options; either pay millions of dollars in licensing fees, or shut down all together.”

Reached by phone on Sunday, Sorisi sounded discouraged but undaunted.

“This isn’t a big deal,” he said. “It’s not going to slow me down.”

While unsurprised by the NBA’s action, he didn’t think it would come quite this quickly, and he pointed out that the objection is not with Knicklyn itself, but with the decision to sell goods that could represent copyright infringement.

He toyed with some design changes to his merchandise, but decided ultimately to suspend sales as he contemplates his next moves.

“This is only a temporary setback,”  he said.

And given the response to his announcement about ceasing sales, which Sorisi characterized as “great” and “positive,” along with an article in the NY Post about this recent development, he might be right when he says, “This isn’t a bad bump. It’s a good bump.”

Read Sorisi’s full letter here, and let us know what you think. Corporate behemoth strangling creative expression and fandom? Or legitimate copyright infringement?

 

Originally posted on January 27, updated January 28 with additional information.

 

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