During the early years, The Pirate Bay promoted an ‘official’ clothing store, which sold t-shirts and hoodies for reasonable prices.
This site has since disappeared, but it’s not hard to find Pirate Bay-themed clothing elsewhere. Dozens of vendors have copied the iconic logo to sell cheap merchandise to fans.
However, when the Switzerland-based fashion brand Vetements joined in with their own variant last year, they upped the ante.
Experts regard Vetements as one of the 10 hottest fashion brands at the moment, which means that it can only be afforded by the happy few. That’s also the case for their Pirate Bay clothing.
The company started by selling a fashionable hoodie for just under $900 and it currently has a whole range of Pirate Bay clothing, including a €550 t-shirt and €540 shorts. The top item, however, must be the comfortable hacker hoodie dress, which currently goes for €980.
“Channelling the theme of a digital dystopia, the piece has a print of ‘The Pirate Bay’ — one of the biggest services for torrenting digital content,” Vetements explains, noting that it pairs well with some sneakers.
Vetements seem to understand that their clothing is overpriced, but as long as it sells they have little to complain about. What they may not be happy with though, is that counterfeiters are using their Pirate Bay design to create cheap knock-offs.
Apparently, the Pirate Bay hoodie was hot enough to be ripped off, as people have been openly requesting cheaper replicas online. This demand was filled by several ‘unauthorized’ vendors including the well-known rep-store Reon District, which now sells a ‘pirated’ Pirate Bay hoodie for a fraction of the price.
These ‘copyright-infringing’ Pirate Bay hoodies come in different qualities and prices. The Reon one is still not cheap, selling at €130, but does it match up to the original quality? At TorrentFreak, we are in no position to review it, but luckily someone else took up the challenge.
Reddit user ‘plexor666’ posted the findings in the FashionReps subreddit, a community of hundreds of thousands of knock-off enthusiasts. The detailed side-by-side comparison shows that the copy is pretty decent, but not perfect. The wash tag, for example, has a plastic feel and the wrong font.
Whether these differences are worth €750 is up for debate. However, based on two reviews, including one from the Redditor above, it’s a pretty good copy. Only the ‘thick’ cords may need a replacement.
“Reon’s hoodie is amazing, nobody will call it out. Only thing that really bothers me are the thick cords on the hood. Looks really shitty I will look for a replacement,” plexor666 writes.
These open discussions are quite common in the subreddit, as opposed to /r/piracy which is under heavy pressure from rightsholders. Counterfeiting is not new for Vetements either. That said, they might not appreciate their Pirate Bay gear being pirated.
It’s hard to see what’s next, but at this point, it wouldn’t surprise us if Vetements sued Reon over their ‘pirated’ hoodie. Or perhaps it may be more fitting if they try to have the domain seized, or blocked by ISPs. True Pirate Bay style.
And perhaps The Pirate Bay can then take action against Vetements for copying its logo without permission?
Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.
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