Dischord's Ian MacKaye Agrees to License Minor Threat T-Shirts Sold At Urban Outfitters

Surprising almost everyone, Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye has allowed officially licensed t-shirts to be sold at Urban Outfitters and select online retailers.

The decision to sell the t-shirts came about because of the large number of bootlegged Minor Threat shirts that had been circulating. "It's fucking absurd the amount of bootlegs are out there [and] my time is better spent doing other things," the musician told the Washington City Paper. "It's not a political thing for me -- I just don't give a fuck about t-shirts."

MacKaye enlisted California-based company TSURT to produce the official merchandise. The company, founded by Blink-182 merchandise manager Chris Silgin, distributes their wares through Boompa.com. Silgin couldn't comment on their relationship with the band or label.

Minor Threat has a long history of attempting to control unlicensed merchandise. In 2009, Forever 21 had to pull a shirt from its shelves that used the band's name and imagery. A few years earlier in 2005 Nike copied the cover of their first self-titled EP for a promotional poster that they were forced to take down.

Dischord Records is known for keeping their music and concert prices low as a matter of principle (the label's store currently lists Dischord album downloads for $7 and full-CDs for $10) and MacKaye was quick to distance the label from the production of the t-shirts. The deal with TSURT doesn't apply to any of MacKaye's other bands or the rest of the label's roster.

McKaye also doesn't completely approve of the move -- "Do I think it's absurd? Yes, I certainly do. Motherfuckers pay $28; that's what they wanna pay for their shirts." A Minor Threat shirt runs for $28 on the Urban Outfitters website and additional designs are available on Boompa.com.

Retailers have repeatedly run into trouble when attempting to use an artist's imagery in unofficial merchanidse. Recently, Rihanna won a lawsuit against U.K. retailer Topshop for using her likeness. Earlier this year, indie rock band Yacht called out Kohl's for using their logo and lyrics on a shirt that was later removed from the retailer's website.

Billboard reached out to Dischord and Urban Outfitters for comment but neither got back before press time.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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