Indie Band YACHT Claims Kohl's Ripped Off Lyrics on T-Shirt
Department-store chain Kohl's may well have a lawsuit coming its way -- or at the very least a lot of angry hipsters on its hands -- over a t-shirt design the indie electro-pop outfit YACHT is alleging rips off their logo and one of the band's songs.
The band posted today on its Tumblr an image of a Kohl's shirt design that reads "If I can't go to heaven then I'm going to L.A." alongside a YACHT lyrics poster for the 2011 single "Shangri-La" with the song's suspiciously similar chorus: "If I can't go to heaven let me go to L.A." The Kohl's shirt also substitutes the "A"s with triangles, the same way the band does in its logo.
The band wrote:
Listen, we’re interested in how ideas circulate through popular culture, but this “If I Can’t Go To Heaven” triangle t-shirt is too much. Kohl’s is a huge corporate entity that stands to make way more money off our lyrics and design than we ever will. Please share this image and let Kohl’s know it’s not OK to rip independent artists off this blatantly."
No word if any legal action will be taken or whether it would be against Kohl's or the company that designed the shirt, Freeze. Regardless, the shirts are still available online, and on sale for $8 at that.
Update: Responding to SPIN, a representative at Freeze CMI promises to “look into the matter 100 percent," adding: "We are well versed in copyright law and do monitor our designs legally. If there are similarities in this case, I will look into and rectify. But trust they are coincidental, not intended.”
The music site also spoke to YACHT's Claire L. Evans, who explained, "It's possible we'd never have seen it, but a fan came to our show San Francisco last weekend wearing the shirt. We thought she made it herself, but she'd actually bought it at Burlington Coat Factory, where she worked. It's designed by a company called Freeze CMI, which is sold at Kohl's and Burlington. It might be an in-house brand or exclusive to those companies, we're not sure."
YACHT are staying calm, stating: “Incredibly, a couple fans who are lawyers have stepped forward and offered to take on the case pro bono, so we’re examining our options.”
Kohl’s has since removed the T-shirt from their website as well.