OK, they took down the other shirt too after it had 100+ sales, this after they had taken the previous one down after 200+ sales. I can’t even fathom what the “copyright infringement” is this time, but given that we have a playoff series to cover, we’ve decided to shift our attention to that. We certainly don’t have time to deal with stuff like this as we’re not staffed with a bunch of lawyers. We’ll relieve their legal team of weekend work and have this rather nefarious copyright claim investigated further, and come back after the playoffs with more good stuff.

Deepest apologies to the hundreds of people who bought the shirt, you have already been refunded in full. Back to basketball coverage.

Go Raptors!

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  • mike, prague

    I really hope that the three spirits of Christmas visit the MLSE sometime soon.

  • RNsteve

    It really is disappointing. Should be embracing community support rather then push loose copyright laws at their fans. Ordered twice… Good effort all the same guys.

  • Roarque

    Now you know. The Toronto Raptors are in business to make money. They built the brand, so they want to reap the rewards. My only question is: can I buy a similar shirt from the Raptors store on line using Pay Pal for under $20?

    • Roarque

      Just checked – they’ve obviously licensed Sears Canada to sell a “similar” T shirt on line for $10. It says Toronto Raptors, it’s basically red in colour and made of a synthetic/cotton blend, ie, only a child under 8 would be caught dead wearing this in public. No Kings, no playoffs, no Division Champs, bleah.

      • j bean

        Sears is using the Raptors trademarks with permission and that is the difference. The Raptors Republic claw is not registered and in the eyes of the trademark office it could be confused with the official Raptors claw, especially since both are basketball related.
        It is like opening a hamburger joint called McDonald’s Munchies with slightly different golden arches. McDonald’s would do what any major brand with a trademark to protect would do. If you don’t protect your brand, it is an invitation for cheap knockoffs to flood the market and lower the value of the trademark.

  • DC

    Does your blog name infringe their copyright?

    • Dunkenstein

      I believe that their blog name does infringe the copyright. I don’t think that will be a problem as long as they don’t pis* the organization off. …the Raptors need to earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year to pay their expenses. One way to raise money is by selling gear with their name on it. If they allow RR to sell Raptors t’s, others will jump on board. I’m an RR fan so I hope the Republic can negotiate a deal with the Raptors to enable them to make some money to pay for their expenses.

  • Erik Evensen

    A new low for the most pathetic company in sports. You’ve already lost me as a Leafs fan, mlse. If it wasn’t for the pure effort and desire shown by the Raptors this season; I’d be done with them as well. Might as well grind down all the goodwill you’re getting from them too, eh you greedy, incompetent morons?

  • Utah

    What if you brought James Kirkland, Rob Gaston, and Don Burge into the RR family? They’re the guys who discovered the first Utah Raptor, which is what the Toronto Raptor is based off of.

  • MasterP

    That sucks they did that to a fan site, jerk move, but for the 1000th time the name Raptor existed long before Jurassic Park… Anytime I hear someone say the Jurassic Park line about the Raptors I can’t help but roll my eyes dismissively. Even if that was the inspiration for the team name, which I have yet to see real proof for besides conjecture, the name Raptor is and always will be for me a great name for a sports team, and one that I have been proud to cheer for and display my entire life.

    • robertparish00

      Before that movie, nobody had heard of a raptor. Any dinosaur geek that did know what a raptor was…would call it by its proper name velociraptor. But if it helps you feel better to think there was no association between the name and the movie, good for you. Just don’t be surprised when you get dismissive eye rolls in return.

      • MasterP

        NOBODY had heard of a raptor?? What solid fact based evidence you provide for your rebuttal. Point taken sir. Alas regardless of your hurtful folly I do not feel any better about it, as I said in above comment ^ (seen here) REGARDLESS of whether it is from the movie or not, it is something akin to Lakers fans constantly complaining about the fact their name comes from a time when the citizens of rural Minnesota were referred to as Lakers, long before it was moved to Los Angeles. However Laker fans never do this because they have a new association for the name, which rightfully supersedes the previous reference to the natural geography of Minnesota, far removed from the big city in California which it now represents. As I grew up with the Raptors and have a new association with the name, as do many fans of the team, it is irrelevant to needlessly bring the Jurassic Park issue up. Also as a side note I don’t think I’ve ever seen two human’s interact where one eye roll was immediately responded to by another eye roll, so I would be surprised by that, you are correct.

  • KJ-B

    Thank you for calling it ‘Nefarious’ cause it just don’t wash…
    Some dude & his buddy has sold a T-Shirt saying “Rap Tor” and the other “Kyle Amir Terrence Jonas Demar & Drake” which even Raptor players have supposedly bought.
    I agree–keep yo’ focus on the Main Thing. But I suspect, that the way intellectual property rights work, you might have has much claim to the “North” branding going on as anyone. Yours what out there first. They can “argue” whatever they like. . . BUT at the end of the day MLSE be damned or NOT damned — GO RAPS!!!

  • Bryan Colangelo


    Just kidding. Still, kind of a dick-move on their part. It’s not like you’re going to start a whole product line. This shirt is a fun one-off to celebrate how long die-hard fans have suffered together.

    If it wasn’t close to the playoffs and there wasn’t a huge MLSE re-branding, marketing and merchandising push, I don’t think they would bat an eye at this, to be honest.

  • Bendit

    It is a bit shitty that they would come down upon an enterprise that (apart from from making a few dollars for their blog site) was trying to foster enthusiasm and ultimately sustain interest in the very product MLSE is selling. In good times and bad. Ironic. Though to provide a possible reason from their pov it maybe that they cannot set a precedent as there are probably many many flybynight entrepreneurs who come out on such occasions skimming the cream off a trademark.

  • AxlT

    Agreed, this is a lame move for what it would have cost them, but you have to get this sort of thing approved by them.
    They can’t let you make money off the brand without permission, it’s like a business thing.

  • Will

    Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the Kings in the North concept so I wasn’t planning on buying a t-shirt. However, I would like to make a donation to the site as it’s been my most visited site in the last 6 months. I really appreciate all the work you guys put in, and I’d rather you guys get 100% of my donation than a small portion of proceeds. Please let me know where I can send the payment. Thanks.

  • kill

    Oh please, who the hell are you guys to sell another companys brand? It goes further than MLSE, the NBA has certain licenses etc to sell their products.