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Friday, September 2, 2011

Hells Angels Accuse of Being the Outlaw

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 7:40 AM

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If you're wearing a t-shirt that says, "My Boyfriend's a Hells Angel", your significant other is probably not a member in good standing of the Oakland club.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation  -- who knew? -- has sued Amazon, an Emeryville store called Nasty Girl, and other defendants, for profiting off the sale of such a t-shirt, claiming copyright theft.

The Hells Angels, it so happens, aren't merely outlaw bikers with members suspected in an El Cajon kidnapping/beating. They're also controllers of a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation organized under the laws of California, which administer the motorcycle club's winged skull trademark.

The shirt, designed by the Los Angeles fashion house WildFox with the "boyfriend" text on the front of tiny wings, didn't feature the skull. But it was close enough to outrage the Angels. Despite being a powerful global corporation, with a market capitalization of nearly $100 billion, that's not something Amazon probably should be doing.

The Angels asked a San Francisco federal judge to award them three times whatever profits earned off the t-shirt's sale.

We've sent a copy of the lawsuit to an Amazon spokesman requesting comment, and will update you when we hear back.

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Matt Smith


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