Is Phish the Metallica of Band Shirts?
Just as Metallica became the face and voice of the losing battle against Napster and music downloaders in 2000; it seems that Phish has picked up their battle ax in the war against merchandise bootleggers.
For those of you unaware, Phish begins their official reunion tonight at the Mothership (Hampton Coliseum) in Hampton Virginia. To kick off the new tour, Phish went ahead and got a temporary injunction banning the sale of non-licensed merchandise. The injunction called out "John Does 1-to-100" and "ABC Corporations 1 to 5" for their repeated violation of Phish's trademark.
To those who have been to past Phish shows and know the lot scene this really doesn't come as a surprise. Phish has always made it clear how they felt about individuals selling bootleg merchandise thru tough enforcement in the lot. Formally getting an injunction from the courts simply adds legitimacy to their campaign of harassment and expands their power of seizure.
So let this be a warning to all you would be rouge venders; Phish has formally declared war on you. They will be coming in fast and hard, snatching backpacks and likely handing out court orders.
It will be a sad day if they ever do succeed in eliminating unofficial t-shirts, posters and other wares from the lot. Half tailgate, half flea market; the lot scene has always been part of the Phish experience. Fans show up hours early to party with their friends, look for the latest Simpsons shirt and get a goo ball. The lot has always been a place where a kid with and idea and a hundred dollars could become an entrepreneur and spend a summer on tour. I say, if you take that away, you begin chipping away at the phish experience. Before you know it your left with a nostalgia act.