I just came across this T-shirt that says "University of stackoverflow" and uses the site logo:

If not, then I'm essentially a tattle tale on the person who produced that T-shirt, because it uses artwork that I imagine is copyrighted. Sorry.

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    Arguably, the viral cc-by-sa license requires the rest of the stuff on the website to be under the same license, and the attribution is right there in the text on the shirt.
    – Wooble
    May 20, 2014 at 14:51
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    IANAL, but I have carefully read the legal page and I can't find anything that explicitly forbids the use of the logos in this manner. That said, I feel sure that this violates the implicit "don't be a dick" that goes with every open source etc license - it may not be explicitly forbidden, but it certainly seems like bad form. May 20, 2014 at 18:35
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    It's the first paragraph of the second section: "... All materials displayed or performed on the Network, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, and animations (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the property of Stack Exchange and/or third parties and are protected by United States and international copyright laws." Only user-generated content (Q's and A's) are covered by the CC license. @Wooble
    – jscs
    May 20, 2014 at 18:47
  • @JoshCaswell: well, that's certainly what they claim is covered by the license. Copyleft purists may disagree on whether such a claim is legit. (disclaimer: I'm neither a lawyer nor a copyleft purist, but I am a devil's advocate)
    – Wooble
    May 20, 2014 at 18:50
  • @Wooble: I see. The argument is that the appearance on the same web page of two sets of material automatically causes them to be available under the same terms? That's rather...bold. What's the "license" for my thesis when I include quotes that others hold the copyright for?
    – jscs
    May 20, 2014 at 19:00
  • @JoshCaswell: presumably your use of quotes is under fair use and you're not building a collection of works that are all explicitly under a viral license.
    – Wooble
    May 20, 2014 at 19:49
  • Let's just say for a second "it's illegal to put this tshirt for sale on, say, Zazzle". Let's say someone makes their own t-shirt and then goes around wearing it? Is that illegal?
    – James
    Jun 2, 2014 at 9:40
  • Here's another one: zazzle.com/stackoverflow_t_shirt_tshirts-235066960554566790 Jan 6, 2015 at 21:05
  • My humble-opinion is that Stack Exchange should actually be formally-interfaced with academia, properly, a la a system similar to Udacity. I am not recommending online-universities. I apologise and I am not sure where to post this. Aug 3, 2023 at 10:05
  • The question is disorienting, because many of us are already involved in academia. I argue that the distinction is between Stack Exchange and academia is not that sharp to begin with; this is a good thing that benefits literally-everyone. Sending people from Stack Exchange to Oxford is a good-thing. I apologise and I am not sure where to post this. Thus-and-so. Aug 3, 2023 at 10:07
  • I am taking a break from Stack Exchange. Aug 18, 2023 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


The design (which is quite good it has to be admitted) is not one I recognise - and I have a large number of T-Shirts :)

The Stack Exchange shop is currently closed and they are not selling merchandise at the moment.

T-shirts and other goodies are available but only as give-a-ways (events, competitions, rewards for top users etc.)

This shirt is not legitimate, but it's up to SE whether they take action or not.

  • That is a pretty cool/quality design. Agreed all-around, otherwise, of course. May 20, 2014 at 13:59
  • To be perfectly honest, I was really hoping that the answer to this would be "yes, it's legit" because I really want some official gear! Still, I suppose with the current arrangement it's more special if/when I do finally earn some. I'm going to hold off on the accept in case an SE employee wants to post an official stance on this, but thanks for confirming the situation nevertheless :-) May 20, 2014 at 18:37
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    @DavidX.Random There's not much to add to what ChrisF already said. Unfortunately, this shirt isn't official in any way and, in fact, goes against our trademark guidance - Do not use the names or logos owned by Stack Exchange Inc. on any apparel or merchandise without our permission..
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    May 20, 2014 at 20:12
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    @AnnaLear Great, thanks for the input, nice to have an "official" comment :-) May 20, 2014 at 23:44
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    @DavidXRandom Anytime. :)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    May 20, 2014 at 23:53

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