SBJ/20100913/Coast to Coast

Buckeyes bloggers given ultimatum

Ohio State University has fired a shot across the bow of any Buckeyes bloggers thinking of turning their football passion into a viable business.

The message: If you go commercial, be prepared to go legit.

The school Aug. 27 obtained a restraining order against a Wisconsin company ordering it to shut down a website dedicated to OSU athletics. The site, buckeyeillustrated.com, featured extensive coverage of OSU football, including an electronic magazine titled Buckeye Gameday. The company, GDS Marketing, said it was printing more than 100,000 copies of Buckeye Gameday for distribution in Columbus.

That was a familiar red flag for attorney Joe Dreitler of Bricker & Eckler. Dreitler over the years has stopped many producers of unlicensed Ohio State T-shirts, calendars and memorabilia. He convinced U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost that GDS Marketing had no business producing Buckeye Gameday.

“The rules are pretty simple,” Dreitler said, the foremost one being if you’re going to profit off Ohio State’s trademarks, you have to pay licensing fees. “Don’t make money using somebody else’s property.”

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