A performance by the Chili Peppers at the club, capacity 500, in the early 80s. Photo Courtesy of Steve May

A fight over “bogus” 688 Club T-shirts

Steve May, former impresario at the 1980s hot spot, the 688 Club, said in a Facebook post that he’s filing suit against a T-shirt company selling shirts with the club’s logo.

“I want to warn people about a bogus 688 t-shirt on Amazon,” he wrote on his Facebook page Friday night. “This is not an original 688 t-shirt it doesn’t have the band names on the back. Please don’t buy this shirt.”

A company called Skreened offers shirts with the logo from the great Midtown club, which ruled Atlanta’s music scene in the 1980s and hosted such bands as Black Flag, the Fleshtones and the Ramones.

The club closed in 1986. The owners went on to other ventures, but recently May hit on hard times due to health problems and family matters. He avoided homelessness last year after a group of friends raised money for him on the GoFundMe site.

“We have sent cease and desists letters to a company call Skrenned (sic) and Amazon,” wrote May on his Facebook page. “They still won’t take the shirt down. Monday we will file suit in three states.”

May sent readers to the 688 Club web site for the “original” shirt.

At the Skreened website on a page labeled “Copyright and Intellectual Property” the site reads: “Skreened provides an automatic, web-based service to users, with which they order Products bearing their Designs or Designs of Shopkeepers. Although Skreened is not responsible for the content of its shopkeepers, we expect that they and other users will not use the site to sell designs that infringe third-party intellectual property rights (this includes copyright, trademark, trade dress and right of publicity).”

The site provides detailed instructions for reporting copyright infringement.

May, in a message, said he contacted Skreened last February. “I sent my US trademark and GA service mark. They have yet to respond. Amazon is a different story. When I sent them the TM and SM. They sent me a long list of dispositions. They also started a new campaign promoting the bogus shirt. I got (angry). So I will sue Amazon for aiding and abetting.”

Said May “Having to retire on disability from spinal stenosis in 1990 was very hard so the 688 shirts have helped financially when I needed them.”

Skreened did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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