Preteen lacrosse players can't escape wrath of Canucks' copyright protection

(Photo courtesy: Vancouver Sun)
(Photo courtesy: Vancouver Sun)

Note to everyone looking to deface the good, holy name of Johnny Canuck: Don’t.

Even a nameless, 3-on-3, pickup, youth lacrosse team comprised of just four preteen boys cannot escape the wrath of the Canucks’ copyright protection team, and are being told to hand in their sweaters featuring a modified version of the Johnny Canuck emblem — one the NHL franchise owns the rights too — holding a lacrosse stick instead of a hockey stick.

The team is wearing the threads during this weekend’s Top Cheese three-on-three youth lacrosse exhibition held in Langley, BC this weekend, and the Canucks are reportedly “demanding” that the customized and unsanctioned jerseys be handed over to the NHL club when the tournament is over, according to The Vancouver Sun.

The Johnny Canuck logo, along with that of Vancouver’s National Lacrosse League’s franchise, are both featured on the sweaters, which Canucks Sports & Entertainment — who own both the NHL and the NLL team — say is an infringement of copyright and is also causing confusing for those involved with the re-branding and logo launch of the Stealth.

“The use has created confusion as we are heading into a team and logo launch for Vancouver’s new National Lacrosse League team,” the organization wrote in a statement.

CSE is allowing the team to wear the jerseys for this weekend’s events but are requesting they be turned in at the end of the weekend fundraiser put on by its NLL franchise. The Canucks clarified that they are not going after the youth team which ordered the modified sweaters, but rather the provider who made and sold them — Xtreme Threads in Port Coquitlam.

“We were made aware that a local jersey company created and supplied jerseys for a team to participate in a weekend lacrosse tournament. While we applaud the ingenuity of the fan that suggested the concept, the company did not have the right to use either the Johnny Canuck or Stealth trademarks in the design,” said the organization.

“In an effort to not disappoint the participants, we granted the company a one-time consent so that it could supply the players with jerseys for the tournament. We asked that they be removed from the market afterwards, and we have provided an option to the company if they want to fulfil a commitment of gifting this team with jerseys.”

The ownership group has offered to give Xtreme Threads new uniforms of the rebranded Stealth club at cost instead of retail if they get the young lacrosse team to hand over the jerseys to the organization.

The Top Cheese tournament is an annual fun event put on by a youth lacrosse academy run by the Stealth which encourages participants dress up in silly clothes or creative uniforms for an “informal, daylong tournament.”