Seeking photos of t-shirts and other IF merchandise to add to IFWiki

IFWiki has a merchandise category: “This category should focus on real-world physical items associated with works of interactive fiction, whether or not they have been sold for money. Specifically, we’re looking for “swag” – things like t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, posters, pendants, jewelry, etc. – as well as possibly-free items like feelies and competition prizes.”

There’s a page for T-shirts from IF Comp, but no photos of t-shirts. Does IFComp have t-shirts every year? If so, are there photos of the t-shirts that we could add to ifwiki?

Are there photos of other IF-related merchandise that would be fun to add? We have photos of the Golden Banana, the Miss Congeniality sash, and an infotater, but I don’t see much else in the way of photos.

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I recently went slightly over the top editing the IF Comp IFWiki pages, and as part of that, added links from each wiki page to the Wayback Machine’s copy of the comp website as it stood shortly after the comp closed.

Looking at these shows that IFComp T-shirts were a thing from at least 2000 (possibly earlier) through 2006, designed by Stephen and Misty Granade and latterly Mike Snyder.

Images of the designs survive for 2004 and 2006.

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Thanks for your work, @JTN!

Clicking around the Wayback Machine version of feelies.org, I ran across a photo of another set of feelies. Maybe there are more–I didn’t look at all of the titles.

Do people think it would be a good idea to add any of these (the t-shirt design images, or pictures of feelies from the old feelies.org) to ifwiki? It would probably involve trying to figure out who has the rights to them and asking for permission.

I did find a photo on Flickr of a Zorkmid and a Get Lamp coin, and that already had a Creative Commons license on it, so I was able to add that to the Feelies page on ifwiki. I found a photo of a Wishbringer stone on Flickr, too, but it did not have a license for re-use.

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Sorry if I’m getting the wrong end of the stick here but;

There must be a lot of people here with original game boxes etc on their shelves. Can’t they just photo the things we don’t already have pictures for, and send them in?

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From a copyright perspective, I imagine it would be easiest if the person who created the feelies in the first place were to take photos and give permission to use them (special permission or a CC license or something like that).

Beyond that, it might get into questions of what counts as fair use. I’m definitely not an expert on that.

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I am also not anything like an expert on this, but for what it’s worth, under US law there are three factors to look at when deciding whether something is fair use: the purpose of the use, the impact it has on the market for the work, and the amount of the work used. Here items one and two seem fine – the purpose is noncommercial and informational, the market impact is probably zero since in most cases I’d think they’d no longer be available/for sale (and besides, the point of a feelie is usually the physical object). I assume three is tougher since the idea is to be comprehensive.

This means the use is likely in the middle ground between “clearly OK” and “clearly not OK” (albeit in my view much closer to the former rather than the latter), so the question mostly reduces to whether there’s anybody who wants to lawyer up and get you to take the photos down – damages would be nonexistent, so that’s almost certainly the only plausible remedy anyone would be able to ask for. Again, my sense is that this is probably a safe risk to run.

(This is mostly reposting some stuff from the public chat, including some helpful framing from @Zed, so let me give credit where it’s due).

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Speaking from an IFTF-level perspective… we don’t really have a well-examined policy on this sort of copyright question.

Historically, there are excellent archives of Infocom printed material and other ephemera:

Occasionally someone asks “Should we collect this stuff at ifarchive.org?” And the answer has always been “You know, it’s a bit legally risky and those existing sites are doing a perfectly good job. Let’s leave it at that.”

Personal fan pages are legally just as risky, but in practice maybe more likely to fly under the radar?

(The IF Archive has some of this stuff, but mostly what was collected in the early 90s before anybody thought about copyright much. It doesn’t try to be complete.) (Also note that my “Obsessively Complete Infocom Catalog” is on my personal site, not an IFTF site.)

Material that was on feelies.org is probably pretty easy to get permission for. Those were all people in the IF community. You can almost certainly just ask them. Losing Your Grip is by Stephen Granade, for example; he’s still around.

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I hadn’t updated the thread about this, but in recent days I actually did ask permission from some people (including Stephen Granade) to use some of their images. Mike Snyder not only gave permission to use the image I asked about, but was also kind enough to take photos of four IFComp t-shirts he had.

You can see what we’ve got now on the feelies page and the IFComp t-shirts page. I’m not sure how the pictures are ultimately going to be organized–it’s a work in progress.

(I’m not sure how ifwiki is going to approach things going forward–I’m just giving an update).

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