Country music industry fights website allegedly selling bootleg merchandise
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —
The country music industry is being hit hard by the sale of bootleg merchandise.
Artists say the website Tee Chip that allowed the illegal use of the Metro Nashville police logo is also ripping off performers past and present.
Every person who gets a star on the Country Music Walk of Fame has worked years, even decades, to carve out a successful career.
But in cyberspace, some people are illegally cashing in on that hard work.
Waylon Jennings defined the outlaw movement in country music. Now, the late singer is the victim of a new kind of outlaw.
“It's ripping people off, it's really about, in my opinion, they're taking advantage of not just Waylon and Jessie and Shooter, which is my family, but all of these other entertainers and artists,” Kathy Jennings, Waylon’s daughter-in-law, said.
Jennings daughter in law is talking about Tee Chip, a website she says is allowing the sale of unlicensed merchandise for Waylon Jennings and other artists.
“I'm going to guesstimate over the last two months, I have reported them on Facebook at least 100 times,” Jennings said. “Every time I see it, I click on it and I report them as a scam or if it's a Jennings product, I put using on authorized material.”
Metro legal sent a cease and desist letter to Tee Chip after FOX 17 found hoodies featuring the police department logo.
Anyone can create sale items, as long as they check a box, agreeing they have permission to use the image. But attorneys say that's where things get tricky.
"That person might not even originate United States, so to be able to get to the source of a pose for selling some sort of content is quite difficult,” Attorney Kevin Christopher said.
Like Kathy, our calls and e-mails to Tee Chip have gone unanswered.
She's circulating a petition to stop the site from advertising on Facebook. She says while some are profiting from the site, most are losing.
"It's not about greed, I don't get, we don't get a penny, my husband and I don't get anything from Waylon's estate we don't own that,” Jennings said. “It's just principal to me and the fact that I think it puts a scar or a bruise on Waylon's image Jessie's and shooters which I can speak for, this is my family and I just think it's unfair, something needs to stop."