The opportunity to purchase a cheap — and likely cheaply made — tour t-shirt at Eric Church concerts just got a little more difficult. The CMA and ACM Award-winning artist was recently granted a temporary restraining order that allows for the seizure of counterfeit merchandise outside his shows.
Church’s legal team is pursuing a lawsuit against the makers and sellers of bootleg T-shirts and other Church-related memorabilia. With the names of the counterfeiters unknown, at least for now, the suit takes aim at “various John Does, various Jane Does and various XYZ corporations.” In other words, they’re going after those dudes who loiter in the parking lots before and after a show with entire clothing racks of Outsiders Tour shirts stuffed down their pants.
The specifics of the restraining order target fake merch sold within a five-mile radius of the tour’s venues within a 24-hour period of the performance. As the lawsuit maintains, the “infringing goods, while inferior in quality, are of the same general appearance as Eric Church merchandise and are likely to cause confusion among prospective purchasers.” They also result in a loss of profits.
Despite Church’s 2014 LP The Outsiders being certified platinum, albums are becoming less and less of a moneymaker for artists. As such, touring and merchandise sales are an integral part of the business model.
Church isn’t the first big name to take on merchandise bootleggers. Katy Perry did so last summer on tour, and more recently had lawyers take a bite out of a company that was marketing the likeness of her Super Bowl halftime show’s dancing sharks. And one of Church’s musical heroes also got litigious: the merchandising company that represents Bruce Springsteen was granted a temporary restraining order to seize fake apparel in 2012.
Church will bring his Outsiders World Tour — and a semi full of legit merchandise — to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, tonight.