Question on the TRT (Tyranny Response Team) organization (copyrights?)


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Jim March
December 29, 2002, 07:53 AM
I need to know if the TRT name is "trademarked" such that I would have to ask permission before using them on T-shirts or something?

I'm planning a line of "stuff" on on CafePress - T-shirts, jackets, others such with minor profit to benefit my site and legal actions.

See also www.cafepress.com for examples.

Among other items, I'm thinking of a text-only windbreaker or similar with text like:

-------------------
TYRANNY RESPONSE TEAM
Gun Permit Corruption Division
www.equalccw.com
-------------------

I need to make sure this isn't a copyright violation or a "moral problem" of any sort. I seem to recall that originally, the TRT name was supposed to be open to any pro-freedom types. But that's remembering pretty far back...anybody know for sure? (Not guesses or opinions, please.)

I'm doing other things too:

http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/lousysmall.jpg

Just a prototype :).

What I've learned watching a buddy wear a TRT windbreaker is that it's a GREAT "conversation starter". Especially in the form he uses, looking very much like a police/FBI windbreaker in terms of color, font and text type.

Another thing: is there a problem with using "Molon Labe" as a subtext? I assume after 2,500 years the copyright ran out :).

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Nosferatu
December 29, 2002, 07:59 AM
Their copyright search is down right now, but this is the place to be for Copyright info: http://www.loc.gov/copyright/

Patents & Trademarks here:
http://www.uspto.gov/

Jim March
December 29, 2002, 11:45 PM
Cool, but that's only part of what I need.

"Morally", what are the issues behind using the TRT name?

David Park
December 30, 2002, 12:34 AM
Jim, the only "moral" issue might be if an existing TRT chapter in your area objects to your use of the name. Unfortunately, this probably won't be a problem, since many TRT chapters seem to have disappeared. The only active one I know about is in MD/DC:
http://www.trt-md.org/

I think the Colorado chapter (also the "national" chapter) was the one selling the T-shirts and windbreakers, but their web site is gone. I'm not sure what happened to them.

Porter Rockwell
December 30, 2002, 01:52 AM
For profit?? Jim, give Paul Paradice a call at Paradise Arms Colo Springs Colo, the shop is on West Colo. Ave.

Blackhawk
December 30, 2002, 02:41 AM
Trademark issue.

Do a search for TRT, Tyranny Response Team, etc., on the major Web search engines.

If nothing jumps out at you, and you start using it, an offended trademark holder can prevent from using it further, and you may be liable for a percentage of the revenue you got from using it as long as you KNEW it was owned by somebody else. The searches are your "due diligence" on a shoestring.

It's easier to get forgiveness than permission, and, IMO, the worst that will happen is that you'll get a cease and desist letter.

Presuming it's available, and I doubt VERY much that any combination of 3 letters isn't already trademarked, you'd want to protect it by using the block capital letters "TM" smaller and superscripted following the name.

For your future benefit and provided that "Tyranny Response Team" isn't already trademarked, I'd start using "Tyranny Response TeamTM" (superscript on the TM) prominently on your pages, then you can justifiably use "TRT" elsewhere without "confusing the public", which is the objective of trademarks in the first place.

For a trademark to be valid, it has to be used. "Use it or lose it." Even registered ones can be and are abandoned making them fair game for somebody else. For registration purposes, the date of first use is important. Time's a wastin'....

Jim March
December 30, 2002, 05:23 AM
All: I'm more concerned with "moral issues" than any other factor, and I don't want to get in a "trademark squabble" with other pro-freedom folks.

It was my recollection that it was deliberately made "public" by it's creators, and my main goal is to make sure my memory on that is accurate.

I'll try contacting Paul at Paradise Arms. I'm also doing searches on TFL for early references to TRT...not finding much.

Seems like Florida is up too: http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/trteam/ and possibly Illinois.

I'm EMailing the webmaster at those surviving sites with the link to this thread and a plea for more info.

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